“This is extremely positive for the sector and for the entire value chain involved in sardine fishing,” said the president of Olhãopesca - Algarve Fisheries Producers Organisation.

Miguel Cardoso told Lusa that the announcement from the government means that the possibility of fishing for sardines “will increase” and confirms what the sector has been saying for some time, that the sardine population has been “in full recovery, as a result of the sacrifices and contingencies implemented”.

For the official, this is an increase that the fishermen have been waiting for “for a long time”, making it possible to alleviate “some restrictions” and be able to fish for sardines for “some more time” throughout the year.

The Minister of the Sea revealed last week that the capture of sardines in Portugal could increase to up to 30,000 tonnes this year, following scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

Ricardo Serrão Santos indicated that the scientific assessment revealed a recovery of biomass, but stressed that it is important to maintain the sustainability of the resource, praising the contribution of the fishing sector for the positive results.
The president of the Pesca do Barlavento Shipowners Cooperative – Barlapescas – also told Lusa that he was pleased with the news.

Mário Galhardo’s concern is focused on the current pandemic situation and the relationship between “the quantity caught and consumption”, as he is worried that there may be “an excess of fish and a possible drop in its value”.

Being a very important species for Algarve fishermen, he stressed that in the region “there are no” canning factories, which can create problems if there is an excess of catch and asked the canning sector to “sit down at the table” with the fishermen to find a solution.

He did however add that the producer associations regularly monitors catches and may limit daily amounts if the sale price drops excessively.