Spanish fishing is gambling its future in Europe due to Brexit and Mediterranean quotas

A no-deal exit from the UK would put 9,000 tonnes of fish at risk, mainly hake, rooster and monkfish.

Spanish fishing is gambling its future in Europe due to Brexit and Mediterranean quotas

Crucial week for him Spanish fishing sector. While the commercial fishing agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union seems to be still a long way off, the European Union’s Fisheries Ministers are meeting these days to decide on the European Commission’s proposal to reduce the fishing days of the region by 15%. trawling modality by 2021. This reduction together with a no-deal Brexit would put a large part of the Spanish fishing fleet in trouble.

Let’s go by parts. In the worst case scenario, a no-deal Brexit would endanger 9,000 tonnes of fish, mainly hake, rooster and monkfish, which are fished in the waters of the United Kingdom, for a value of around 27 million euros, recalls the Secretary General of Cepesca, Javier Garat.

Although these catches represent only around 1% of the total catches of the Spanish fleet – a long way, for example, from the 60% that they represent for Sweden -, they are essential for shipowners that are concentrated in Vigo, Celeiro, Burela , Coruña, Ondárroa and Santander.

Hence, in terms of employment there is also concern. Nowadays, There are 88 Spanish flag boats that have the possibility to fish on UK fishing grounds. Some boats that employ 2,150 crew and they generate around 10,750 indirect jobs. These vessels are mostly bottom longline (54) and the rest bottom trawl (28) and kite (6).

Is the deal close? Well, from Cepesca they explain that “the positions seem far away”, but they trust that “they will reach a beneficial agreement for the good of the fishermen and the 119 fish populations they share.”

Meeting in europe

Precisely This last issue will also affect the decisions made between today and tomorrow. at the meeting of EU Fisheries Ministers, since in case of not reaching an agreement on Brexit, the volume of catches in these areas will not be able to be decided, they indicate from Cepesca.

On the other hand, the fishing employers warn the Council, which will decide as of tomorrow on the European Commission’s proposal to reduce fishing days by 15% of the trawling modality for 2021, which if supported will break the socio-economic and environmental balance in the western Mediterranean and which will mean “the beginning of the end of an ancestral and traditional activity in the Mare Nostrum”. This is stated by the representatives of the Mediterranean fishing organizations.

For this reason, they ask the Fisheries Ministers of the European Union to reject the reduction in even one day of trawling in the Mediterranean that could “lead to the ruin of many companies that depend on this fishery”. And all this in a very complicated scenario for the fishing sector, very affected by the Covid with price drops in products and stopped boats.