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Spain Will Not Accept EU-Mauritania Fisheries Agreement

02 August 2012

SPAIN - The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete expressed support for the Spanish fishing sector affected by the renewal of the protocol to implement the fisheries agreement between the EU and Mauritania, and Spain's refusal to ratify it.

"Spain will ask you to review the conditions and to negotiate a balanced agreement on the financial conditions conform to the actual fishing possibilities," he explained.

Mr Arias Cañete stressed that the new agreement should take into account "the true biological status of resources in line with recent scientific studies and the views and interests of Community vessels.

Mr Arias Cañete has rejected the European Commission's new fisheries agreement with Mauritania, as he states it did not take into account either the best available scientific advice, nor the views and interests of Spanish vessels and the rest of the EU fleet.

In this regard, the minister noted, as evidence of the infeasibility of the Agreement, the fact that almost all of the fleets concerned had not requested renewal of their licenses to continue operating on 1 August.

The Minister has stressed, in the context of this negative assessment, the fact that the European Commission has negotiated a fishing agreement in which the EU have two years not to fish in Mauritania, in addition to the €80 million intended to pay the industry.

Thus, to avoid further damage to the fleets concerned and correct the imbalance that has occurred between the financial and fishing opportunities, Mr Arias Cañete has indicated that the Spanish Government can not give its support to the ratification of the new protocol. Instead, the General Secretariat of Fisheries will work to desist from continuing with the current proposal and proceed to renegotiate the agreement on terms more balanced for both parties.

In this vein, the Minister has considered that it is still possible to rectify and achieve a mutually beneficial agreement. This would avoid causing unnecessary damage to the European fishing industry, especially in regard to job losses.

For this, the Ministry shall, in the coming days, send a request to the European Commission to arbitrate extraordinary financial measures to alleviate the situation of the cephalopod fleet while maintaining their inactivity, which is determined by setting a zero quota in category nine and pending a review of the availability of excess funds under the agreement.

The Ministry is studying the possibility of implementing different support lines and crews of vessels regularly worked under this agreement

TheFishSite News Desk



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