Spain’s Minister for Agriculture, Isabel García Tejerina, called for unused fishing quotas to be “redistributed” to other countries, during a Council of Ministers meeting on Monday (15 February).
García Tejerina raised the idea during a public debate at the meeting about a new system for granting and managing fishing quotas, saying that Spain is in favour of “redistributing” any “unused fishing opportunities”, especially in regard to third parties.
The minister opened the meeting, which had been called to discuss Brussels’ draft to change the system currently in place to manage fishing quotas. It is intended to improve the monitoring of EU fleets in international waters, as well as the vessels of third parties in European waters.
The proposal, presented by the EU’s Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Karmenu Vella, would mean that all EU fleets that operate outside of community waters would need authorisation from the relevant authorities of the country in which the vessel is registered.
García Tejerina said that the current review is “very necessary” and that Madrid supports it. Spain has “the largest, most organised and most standardised fleet” in the whole EU and in the last few years, has launched a “huge effort” against illegal fishing.
In other news, the European Commission has included “mojama de Isla Cristina”, a Spanish fish delicacy, in its register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGI). Furthermore, the Canary Islands cochineal has also been listed as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
The two products now join a list of around 1,300 quality items that are protected by EU legislation and which forms one of the main sticking points of the ongoing TTIP negotiations.
“Mojama de Isla Cristina” is produced from filleted salt-cured tuna, which is seasoned, dried and then served in olive or sunflower oil. The Canary Islands cochineal is an insect that is used to produce cochineal extract, which is used for dyeing wool.