No more bluefin for Spanish purse seiners

Spanish purse seiners can no longer catch bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic after exhausting their annual quota, European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki announced on Friday.

The decision comes just a few days shy of the fishery’s closure. The season for purse seiners kicked off on 15 May and runs through 15 June. Vessels from six other EU member states are active in the fishery: France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Malta and Cyprus.

The EU’s overall quota is 5,756 metric tons this year, down from 7,087 metric tons last year.

Damanaki has been stern about this year’s fishery, warning EU member states in mid-May to take “all necessary measures” to ensure “full compliance” by their vessels during the month-long fishery.

“I worked closely with the Spanish authorities and am pleased to hear that Spain had, in the meantime, confirmed its voluntary cessation of fishing authorizations and has called all its purse seiners back to port on the evening of the 9 June,” said Damanaki on Friday.


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