Three years after closure, Spain gets higher anchovy quota


Pilar Caride, SeafoodSourcecontributing editor, reporting from Vigo, Spain

Published on
October 24, 2013

Last week the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Magrama) announced that the anchovy quota in the Bay of Biscay has been increased to 1,646 tons for the 2013-2014 season.

The fishery reopened in 2010, after being closed for five years.

José Manuel Juárez Juárez, chief of the Fishermen’s Association in Barcelona, on Day 2 of Seafood Barcelona discussed the quota increase.

“We consider this to be positive, because it is a sign that the work from those five years has bore fruit, undoubtedly,” he told SeafoodSource.

Juárez attributes the fishery’s recovery “to the total conservation of the fishing ground that has been respected by everyone.”

Isabel Palomero, from the National Research Council (CSIC), added that apart from closing the fishing area, good environmental conditions must be considered. “I am assuming they were five years in which there was a good environmental situation, which helped it recover,” Palomero explained.

The approved quota for the fishery comes from the rest of Spain’s quota during 2012-2013. It is added to the initially approved quota, for a total of 15,226 tons until June 2014.

Palomero also discussed the paradox of the legal catch size being under that of the first maturity. "We are significantly reducing the population," Palomero stated, "because it is the older fish that lay more eggs."

Juárez told SeafoodSource that the Barcelona fisheries sector has internal agreements oriented to implementing an integral management plan and to varying the species, including anchovy.  That is where the commitment to voluntarily comply with different rules in favor of the conservation of resources was born. Some of those rules are a reduction in catching hours, quotas and the increase of the size of catch. The aim is to extend this agreement to the whole Mediterranean area, but a consensus has not yet been reached.

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