Minister calls for sustainable fishing

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 31-12-2019 14:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s minister of the sea, Serrão Santos, warned that fishing should be adapted to the sustainability of species and recommended, after the European agreement on catch volumes in 2020, that operators should find alternatives, particularly for cod.

"We cannot assume that we are fishing a stock, above what determines its future, and I would not do that", he explained.

"The adjustments we made were to create fishing opportunities within the recommendations and expectations of the sector," he said, admitting that stocks are improving, pointing out that "many stocks are still in crisis," and advocating good management policies that defend them.

Overall, fishing opportunities will increase by 17% in 2020 compared to this year, with, in particular, the proposed 50% cut for horse mackerel in national waters having been reversed to a 24% increase and the 20% cut for hake having been revised to 5%, according to Ricardo Serrão Santos, in line with the scientific advice demonstrating the good state of the stocks.

The catch limits for sole have also been reduced to a 20% reduction compared to the 40% proposed in October by the European Commission.

For cod - a species where catches by Portuguese fishing grounds represent only 4% of consumption - a slight increase (1%) was approved in Norwegian waters of Svalbard, but a reduction of 51% in the NAFO (North-West Atlantic) area.

With regard to the objective of the common fisheries policy to end overfishing by 2020, Serrão Santos warned of the need to "think about a post-2020".

"In the Mediterranean, the situation is so problematic that it is impossible to achieve the maximum sustainable yield by 2020 for many stocks," he said, noting that this is a situation that is provided for in the legislation.

Gonçalo Carvalho, from the NGO Sciaena, stressed, for his part, the non-fulfilment of the objective, which cannot go unpunished and stressed that he was "disappointed with the final figures".


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