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Spain Avoided Shut Down of Fleet by Discard Ban

20 May 2013

SPAIN - The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete, has indicated that Spain has managed to avoid the shutdown of part of its fleet by the discard ban and has managed to include traps in the definition of fishing vessel.

The head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment was speaking at the end of the EU Council of Fisheries Ministers where a new mandate on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy was approved.

According to the Minister, Spain has made the allowable percentage of discards at seven per cent for the first two years, six per cent the next two and five per cent thereafter. 

Parliament wanted to establish an exemption from the ban on discards in a very low percentage (three per cent). Furthermore, the Parliament also tried to add a maximum of nine per cent of discards per trip for each vessel (as a way to prevent some ships from discardind huge amounts of fish).

These conditions were contrary to the principles of applicability and control that Spain has championed for this reform and risked to alter the relative stability (allocating quotas for the EU) and paralyzing some of the Spanish fleet (40 vessels).

Arias Cañete reported that Spain has consulted with the fishing industry, has coordinated its position with other Member States (France) and has worked fairly and constructively with the Presidency, through which has avoided the result would have crippled its fleet.

Finally, for the first time since the existence of a Common Fisheries Policy, the Spanish traps will be included in the definition of fishing vessel.

Further Reading

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