ministére de la mer

Spain and France have agreed to ring-fence fishing quotas to stop quota for certain species being extended to other countries

The Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas and the French State Secretary for the Seas, Hervé Berville met in Paris yesterday, Thursday 27 April 2023, to discuss the common priorities of their countries in terms of fisheries.

The meeting was held in view of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 01 July to 23 December 2023.

According to a press release from the French Ministére de la Mer, the two ministers underlined their excellent cooperation on numerous maritime subjects such as negotiations of total allowable catches with third countries, environmental issues, socio-economic aspects, control and management of fisheries, planning at sea, the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and maritime training.

In joint press release the parties stated:

“Among the priorities identified for the second half of 2023, the preparation of the Council at the end of the year on the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) and quotas will strongly mobilize France and Spain, which share the objective of obtaining within the framework these negotiations the best possible results of TACs and quotas for Atlantic and Mediterranean fish stocks, while ensuring recognition of their specificities and the diversity of fisheries.

In order to allow a more predictable and sustainable management of the resource, France and Spain will defend from this year the negotiation of multi-annual TACs and fishing quotas for certain species and which may be extended to others in the future.

Finally, France and Spain share the objective of accelerating the decarbonization of the fishing fleet, a priority dossier for the Spanish Presidency and which will require the mobilization of specific resources from the European Union. One of the main issues will concern the simplification of the regulations applicable to financing as well as the revision of the current criterion of fishing capacity measured in “gross tonnage” and in kilowatts to improve the management of the fleet fishing industry in the European Union and thus promote its modernization, to the benefit of the safety of seafarers and the reduction of the sector’s carbon footprint.”

The question of what species they are willing to deny other member states from accessing remains unquantified.

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