The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, and the Secretary of State for the Sea of France, Hervé Berville, held a bilateral meeting yesterday, Monday 24 October 2022, in which they analysed possible ways of collaborating on issues of fishing interest for both countries and, specifically, they have analysed the European Commission regulation on vulnerable marine ecosystems.
At the meeting, the minister explained that Spain is working on presenting an appeal against this regulation before the Court of Justice of the European Union, which he considers unfair and disproportionate.
Spain and France agree that the regulations issued by the European Commission must be based on the principles of the Common Fisheries Policy, that is, there must be a balance between environmental, social and economic sustainability, as well as the most recent scientific information, which does not happen in this implementing regulation. In this sense, France will support the revision of the regulation that establishes the protection areas of vulnerable marine ecosystems.
He has also pointed out that the ministry follows the evolution of the fishing activity of the fleet affected by this regulation, both at the level of catches and displacement of fishing effort to have a precise knowledge of its socioeconomic impact.
In this meeting, the good harmony between both countries in defending issues of fishing interest for both countries, such as the upcoming negotiation of the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) and fishing quotas for 2023, which will be debated in the EU Council of Ministers in December.
In this respect, the possibility of the Council adopting multiannual TACs has been analysed, which may simplify the negotiations on the distribution of quotas. There are already precedents on this issue in the biannual distribution of quotas for deep-sea species, in addition to scientific recommendations that support the adoption of this approach for 2 or more years for certain populations.
At the meeting, the minister pointed out that Spain defends a balanced and proportionate application of the multi-year plan for the Mediterranean, from a social and economic point of view, within the framework of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), with the aim of maintaining the activity of a key fishing sector in certain coastal communities.
Planas has also stressed Spain’s commitment to prevent the accidental capture of cetaceans in the Bay of Biscay and will continue working on their conservation, through the national plan that has been launched, scientific observation or through common projects such as Cetambicion. Spain considers that the measures applied to date are bearing fruit, although our country is willing to adopt other initiatives if necessary.
In another order of things, the minister has indicated that, during the Spanish Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2023, he will raise a debate with the rest of the Member States on the opportunity to establish joint measures that facilitate the decarbonisation of the fleet.
Conclusions of the Meeting
- The minister explains that Spain will present an appeal against the regulation on vulnerable marine ecosystems, which he considers unfair and disproportionate
- The meeting analysed the possibility that the Council of Ministers of the EU adopt multiannual total allowable catches (TAC) to speed up the negotiations
- Spain defends a balanced and proportionate application of the multiannual plan for the Mediterranean, which maintains the activity of a key sector in certain coastal areas
Source: Press Release