“We are in a position to increase from 10,000 tonnes to close to 30,000 tonnes in Portugal. The options will still be agreed with Spain, since the source is common”, announced Ricardo Serrão Santos.

Sardine catches in Portugal and Spain should not exceed 40,434 tonnes this year, according to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

"When the maximum sustainable yield has been reached, catches in 2021 may be a maximum of 40,434 tonnes", reads the opinion of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES, its acronym in English, or ICES in Portuguese) .

Classifying sardines as an "extremely relevant resource for Portugal", the government official indicated that the scientific assessment revealed a recovery of spawning biomass to 451,000 tonnes, above the 344,000 tonnes in 2020 and the 120,000 tonnes in 2015.

However, the head of the Ministry of the Sea stressed that, despite the improvements registered, it is important to maintain the sustainability of the resource, also praising the contribution of the fishing sector to the results disclosed today.

For Ricardo Serrão Santos, the scientific recommendations show that "the strategy adopted by Portugal and Spain in the management of resources was reinforced".

The dialogue with Spain is now continuing to define the exact fishing possibilities for the two countries.