Spain approves new local fisheries law reforms


Pilar Caride, SeafoodSourcecontributing editor, reporting from Vigo, Spain

Published on
May 5, 2014

This month the Spanish Council of Ministers approved new reforms for the "Law of Maritime Fishing of the State" with the aim to stimulate a number of priorities considered as "key for the Spanish fishing policy."

The new document includes the recognition of the equality of treatment and opportunities for women, the simplification of registration for fishing boats and sanctioning procedures, and new concepts focused on the economic diversification into fishing tourism or fishing and aquaculture tourism.

Among the innovations, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment highlighted the definition of new entries on the international illegal fishing product and vessel lists, along with extension of the boundaries for penalty regulations against foreign vessels.

The former minister of the Department of Agriculture, Supply and Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete — replaced this week in his post due to his designation as candidate to the next European elections — said "definitely, it is a question of updating the fishing legislation, making it more efficient, guaranteeing the sustainability of the fishing activity and promoting the diversification of the economic activity in the fisheries sector to take advantage of all the potentials that the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy allows us at this moment."

The president of the Galician Fisherman Guild Federation, Benito Gonzalez, told SeafoodSource some blocks of the reform refer to aspects that already were implemented in the sector related to equality and fishing-tourism. About this, he made reference to initiatives which have existed in Galicia for a long time, such as "Guimatur," a women's cultural association of the sea, focused on the diffusion of seafood culture and traditional values of this work. This association organizes guided tours to show shell fishing activity and their products.

Regarding the measures for combating IUU fishing, Gonzalez said, "We need a control of the products,” and in Galicia are projects in that way like “quality labeling” and “sustainability certificates.”

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