spanish fisheries research newfoundland

The Spanish fisheries research vessel ‘Vizconde de Ezay’ will study the fishing resources of Newfoundland and Flemish Cap

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography will study the fishing resources of Newfoundland and Flemish Cap, an area of ​​great interest to the Spanish fishing fleet. 

The campaigns will be carried out on board the Vizconde de Eza, which is part of the ministry’s fleet of research vessels, which set sail from the port of Vigo, yesterday, Monday 05 June.

The Platuxa, Flemish Cap and Greenland Halibut campaigns, carried out by researchers from the Far Fisheries Program of the Vigo Oceanographic Center (IEO), investigate the so-called NAFO (Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization) Regulation Area, which includes part of the adjacent international waters to the Exclusive Economic Zone of Canada.

The first campaign, Platuxa, led by José Luis del Río, will take place from 05 June to 03 July in the 3NO Division. This campaign, which this year celebrates its 28th edition, is carried out with the objective of obtaining the necessary biological information to assess the state of the fishing resources of interest to the Spanish fleet, such as cod, Greenland halibut, shrimp, redfish, dab, flounder, mendo, grenadiers and rays, among others. To this end, 115 standardized fishing sessions lasting 30 minutes will be carried out, identifying all the species present in the catch and recording the data on size, sex, weight and state of sexual maturity. In addition, gonad and otolith samples will be collected for maturity and growth studies,

Next, the international Flemish Cap campaign will take place, in the 3M Division, from July 4 to August 6, whose manager will be the researcher José Miguel Casas. It is the thirty-sixth in the series of fishing research campaigns on the Flemish Cap bank, started in 1988 and shared with the Institute of Marine Research (IIM-CSIC) and the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA), it has for The objective is to know the state of the populations of the target species: their abundance, biomass and demographic structure, and the oceanographic conditions in the area.

Finally, the Greenland Halibut 3L campaign, whose campaign manager is Esther Román, will round off this series of campaigns with the return of the ship to Vigo on September 2. It is the eighteenth in the series that began in 2003 and its objective is to prospect Division 3L of the NAFO regulation area, an area where the Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) fishery makes the greatest effort and obtains its maximum yields.

All this information is essential for the evaluation of the fishing resources of the area, especially those that are under moratorium and for which there is no information from commercial fishing. In addition, all species of benthic invertebrates are identified and weighed in order to have basic information for ecosystem-based fisheries management. Finally, in all the sampling stations a hydrographic profile is obtained with a depth, temperature and conductivity probe to know the environmental conditions of the catches. 

Currently, these surveys are the best source of independent data on the commercial fishery in the surveyed area. The results obtained from them are presented annually at the NAFO Scientific Council meeting and must be made available to Canadian scientists and other contracting parties. This information is used for scientific analysis and to advise the NAFO Fisheries Commission for decision making.

These campaigns have been co-financed by the European Union through the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (FEMPA) within the National Program for the collection, management and use of data from the fishing sector and support for scientific advice in relation to the common fisheries policy.

As in other fishing research campaigns, this is an example of coordination between Institutions. In this case, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the use and equipment of the boats is provided to the research staff, and the most suitable instrument for the specific purposes of each campaign is made available to the scientists, while trying to achieve the optimization of resources for the benefit of the best possible scientific knowledge and the best fisheries management. Only with the best knowledge of the seas can bet on the protection and sustainable management of resources, which is why the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food maintains a continuous effort to develop research campaigns on board its oceanographic vessels.



The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO, CSIC) is a national center of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), under the Ministry of Science and Innovation, dedicated to research in marine sciences , especially in relation to knowledge science of the oceans, the sustainability of fisheries resources and the marine environment . The IEO represents Spain in most international scientific and technological forums related to the sea and its resources. It has nine coastal oceanographic centers, five marine culture experimentation plants, 12 tide stations , an image receiving station of satellites and a fleet made up of four oceanographic vessels , among which the Ramón Margalef and Ángeles Alvariño stand out. 



The oceanographic vessel Vizconde de Eza forms part, together with the Miguel Oliver and the Emma Bardán, of the MAPA fishing and oceanographic research fleet. Throughout its years of existence, the Vizconde de Eza ship has completed more than a hundred research campaigns in fishing and oceanographic matters and is one of the most sophisticated ships in the world, equipped with six specialized laboratories and equipped with advanced scientific instrumentation. The boat is 53 meters long and stands out for its dynamic positioning system that allows it to remain at the same point without changing its position, compensating for adverse conditions. In addition, the special design and propulsion of it guarantees a silent navigation and the obtaining of acoustic data free of vibrations and noise.

Source: Press Release

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