Edition 1497
20 October 2018
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Portugal rebuffs ICES’ calls for full ban on sardine fishing next year

in News · 19-07-2018 14:20:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s Sea Minister Ana Paula Vitorino has said in her view “there are no reasons to forbid sardine fishing in Portugal in 2019” after the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) called for the activity to be completely banned in Portugal and Spain next year.

Portugal rebuffs ICES’ calls for full ban on sardine fishing next year

ICES said that “given the reduction in the stocks that has been seen over the past years (…) there should be zero captures in 2019.”
Backing up their argument, the ICES said, the stock of sardines aged one or more years had been falling since 2006 and is currently under 0.4 million tonnes.
However, speaking during a visit to the Algarve city of Portimão this week – famous for its annual Sardine Festival – Sea Minister Ana Paula Vitorino said, the ICES’ recommendations are sometimes overzealous.
“The ICES gives a scientific opinion based on the information it has, but what is fact, is that it often would rather be safe than sorry,” she said, adding: “The Government understands, as it did last year, that we are not in a position that requires zero fishing. We can set a quota for the catch that is lower than this year’s and with management measures for deeper stocks”.
Ana Paula Vitorino stressed that the Government “is conducting very thorough research on the matter, to try to reconcile two objectives: to maintain the high sardine catch and the sustainability of the species”.
“The sardine has been decreasing gradually along our coast and to be able to fulfil the first objective [catches] we have to guarantee that we will continue to have sardines in the future”, she emphasised.
According to the Sea Minister, a balance between catches and sustainability has to be struck because, as she stressed “the sardine is part of the Portuguese culture and economy”.
She said, the amount of sardines in Portugal’s waters is currently higher than last year, although there is a reduction of younger fish, which means a reduction of the species in 2019.
“Although there is a reduction in juveniles, it does not imply a reduction of catches to zero”, said the minister, adding that Portugal is working together with Spain and in contact with the European Commission “to demonstrate that there are no socioeconomic reasons that lead to the indicators of species preservation being as demanding as those pointed out by ICES”.

 

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Edition 1497
20 October 2018
Edition: 1497

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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