The Spanish Mediterranean fishing sector has stopped this Friday en bloc (trawling, seine and small gears), to protest against the management plan for this sea imposed by the European Union on the fleet that operates in these waters and that, according to the fishermen , leads them to their practical disappearance, as reported in a statement. In Catalonia, the fleets of Blanes (Girona) or Sant Carles de la Ràpita (Tarragona) have been some of those that have joined the strike.
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Specifically, the protest, which takes place in all Mediterranean ports , has brought together sailors, shipowners and representatives of the town councils or fisheries councilors to denounce the situation and read a manifesto of rejection and request the European Commission and the Government Spain to act to prevent the extinction of this modality, one of the most traditional and sustainable on the Spanish Mediterranean coast.
Fishermen consider that the European Union’s demersal (ground fish) management plan, in force since January 2020, is ending “little by little” the Mediterranean trawl fleet due to restrictions on schedules, working days and fishing zones that imposes and threatens the activity of 600 Spanish vessels and more than 17,000 jobs , between direct and indirect jobs. A total of 3,400 European Union vessels fish in Mediterranean fishing grounds.
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In addition, the Spanish fleet is also facing the future approval of the new EU fisheries control regulation that, among other measures, intends to introduce cameras on board vessels, treating them, denouncing them, as alleged criminals.
Fishing organizations have indicated that since the management plan came into force, “activity is decreasing, jobs are being lost, fishing and auxiliary companies are closing and the commercialization of catches from other types of fishing are beginning to be seen. affected “. “Going out to fish is no longer profitable for many fishermen under current conditions,” they recalled.
The Multi-Annual Fisheries Plan in the Western Mediterranean, adopted in 2019 and in force since January 2020 to regulate demersal fishing with the objective of achieving Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) by 2025, has been a path full of obstacles for the fleet trawler that works in these waters.
The reduction in fishing effort by 8.3% in 2021 for trawlers operating in the Mediterranean has been added to the efforts made in 2020, including space-time closures and reductions in fishing effort -in many cases, greater than 20% – , in addition to the complex scenario generated by the coronavirus.