Spain's Secretary General of the Sea, Juan Carlos Martin Fragueiro

Following repeated criticism by Greenpeace for overfishing and flouting scientific evidence of stock levels, Spain’s leading fisheries officials signed an agreement late last week to stop illegal fishing, improve labeling, tighten product traceability and promote the high quality of the nation’s fish.

Opening the two-day National Congress of Fish Wholesalers (Anmape) and Central Markets Network (Mercasa) in Madrid, Spain, Secretary General of the Sea Juan Carlos Martin Fragueiro agreed that the creation of a working group to energize acts of transparency is a necessity.

The pact is designed to increase Spain’s fisheries competitiveness and improve modernization processes and infrastructure. It also aims to implement traceability mechanisms to effectively follow the origin, time of harvest and production method of seafood all the way to the consumer.

Announcing improvements needed to Spain’s seafood marketing, Manuel Pablos, president of Anmape, focused on wholesale markets as “the best option for sales as they are an excellent reference point for quality assurance. They adopt new technologies in the movement of goods and information, create a quality image and promote sustainable fisheries.”

The agreement also calls on leaders to be proactive in improving control systems for minimum catch sizes.

About 300 industry professionals representing 60 percent of Spain’s seafood producers attended the meeting, together with representatives from the European Commission, Spain’s Autonomous Communities and industry associations.

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