Spain to try their luck and push for increased fish quotas

Spain wants fishing quotas to be increased, despite scientific evidence that massive reductions should be made. [Chris Brown/Flickr]

Spain intends to ask for fishing quotas to be increased for 2016, as it believes that fish stocks are stable enough to support it. EURACTIV’s partner EFE reports.

The EU will decide upon the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for the Atlantic and Spain will ask that there be no “drastic reduction”, as well as requesting an increase in the total captures allowed of abundant species, said Andrés Hermida, Spain’s Secretary-General for Fisheries. 

He explained that hake, megrim and monkfish are in a good state in Northern water, especially in the Bay of Biscay.

On the other hand, the state of species of fish in Iberian waters near Cantabria, Galicia and the Gulf of Cádiz, is “more complicated”.

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Spain intends to argue that the recovery of fish stocks and “maximum sustainability” objectives should only come into force after 2016 and that to reject any cuts in quotas, because of the socio-economic impact it would have on its fishermen, said Hermida.

The European Commission has proposed a 19.2% reduction in monkfish catches and a 26.4% reduction in megrim off the coast of Cantabria and in the Northwest.

Regarding Iberian hake, scientific studies have recommended a massive 62% reduction.

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But at the moment, Spain will support other proposals that lightly increase the quotas, in order the compensate for the discarding of unwanted fish and landing obligations that fishermen will have to fulfill next year, said Hermida.

In terms of anchovies and Norway lobsters, Spain believes that numbers are well established and stable enough to raise quotas as well.

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