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Committed to Defence of Coastal/Artisanal Fisheries

08 May 2012, at 1:00am

SPAIN - The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Miguel Arias Caete, said that the immediate challenge for the fisheries sector is made up of negotiations for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, in which Spain is working to position itself as a leader to its community partners.

During the opening of the Ninth National Assembly of Fishermen, Arias Caete has indicated that, in these negotiations, one of the points where Spain will concentrate its efforts is in the protection of coastal and artisanal fisheries, which are key instruments to laying the basis for recovery of fishery resources and at the same time promoting economic recovery of coastal communities dependent on fishing.

Mr Arias Caete stated: "We are working on a change in the definition of artisanal fisheries, to include vessels with a length less than 15 meters."

In addition, Arias Caete stated intention to "promote a review of the quota allocations , especially in the Cantabrian-Northwest fishing grounds, and bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean, with the participation of the industry."

Mr Arias Caete also referred the issue of discards, where Spain argued to the European Union that "this policy should be a gradual approach, fishery by fishery, identifying their causes."

As for European support scrapping, Mr Arias Caete said that: "Spain is opposed outright to the total elimination proposed by the Commission" and advocates the maintenance of the same for both the temporary and permanent cessation. Further, the minister stated: "These stops should be undertaken as part of plans to adjust fishing effort, for which we are working with other Member States, including Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy and Portugal."

Regarding the rising price of diesel, Mr Arias Canete said that the Ministry is evaluating the options offered by the European Fisheries Fund, in investmenting into new technologies for the boats which will improve the technical and economic performance.

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