The president of APTAV said that "the incorporation of a European directive into national legislation now requires the name of the species to be included on the list" which bans the harvesting and marketing of bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and live marine gastropods for the L9 catch zone.
According to Leonardo Diogo, the measure left fishermen in the L9 catch zone, which covers the coastal strip between Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, in the Algarve, banned from catching Canilha, a marine gastropod mollusc that has never before been part of this list, despite always having been sold. “With the crisis and the pandemic, the canilha was the only species that was providing income to the fishermen and now, all of a sudden, they are prevented from capturing them and working. There are 10 to 12 vessels, 40 people and their families, who are waiting for this species to be included in the list” published by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA), Leonardo Diogo told Lusa news agency.
The same source said that the canilha (bolinus brandaris) was always sold but was never included in the IPMA list, stressing that Docapesca, the entity responsible for the management of fishing ports and auctions in Portugal, "also authorized its sale" at auction. However, the situation changed after one of the lots for sale was inspected by the GNR during transport and was subject to an administrative offense for, in light of the new legislation, having been banned.
The APTAV leader said that the trammel net vessels operating between Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António were at stake and that "they stopped, overnight" from being able to sell "20, 30, 40 kilograms" of a species that was guaranteeing their livelihood. “Now, the General Directorate of Maritime Resources [DGRM] and IPMA say that it is necessary to carry out analyses of heavy metals and only after these analyses are concluded, without positive results, can the species be included in the list. But it is the fishermen who have to provide the samples for the species to be analysed”, he lamented.
Despite this requirement, an APTAV member managed to deliver a sample to be analysed and the association now requests speed in the results so that the canilha can be included in the IPMA list of catches allowed in the catchment area of the eastern Algarve and the affected vessels resume the job. The same source also criticised how the classification of the bans is done through a kind of reference, the shell, and that a possible bad result obliges the presentation of samples for analysis again. The Lusa agency tried to obtain clarification from the DGRM, through the Ministry of the Sea, but has not received an answer so far.