The acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has participated in the commemorative act of the 33rd anniversary of the Marine Reserves of Fishing Interest, held at the National Museum of Natural Sciences under the theme "Traditional fishing and science", "two basic pillars for marine reserves to succeed and continue in the future".

Planas pointed out that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) is firmly committed to continuing the work begun more than three decades ago to conserve Network of Marine Reserves and increase the number of spaces that make up the same.

In addition, it has announced the creation of a new one in outer waters, the Sa Dragonera Marine Reserve, which "will be a reality in the coming months".

This reserve will have 457 hectares and will be a continuation of the existing one in the interior waters of the Balearic Islands. The underwater landscapes of this protected area are an example of the coast of Majorca, in which the posidonia oceanic prairies stand out, which act as areas of great biological production and repopulation of fry of species of fishing interest.

Marine reserves

For the minister, the marine reserves have the objective of supporting traditional fishermen in the exercise of their activity, while respecting the limitations of these spaces. There is scientific evidence that traditional fishing, carried out in a sustainable manner, contributes to the conservation of the marine environment. In all the marine reserves of fishing interest, the fishing modality practiced is that of "minor arts", in small boats and in a very limited number.

At present, Spain has 11 marine reserves of fishing interest, covering an area of ​​more than 103,000 hectares, which protect almost 200 kilometers of coastal area.

Likewise, Planas pointed out that marine reserves need, to fulfill their objectives, to have the best scientific information, establish a regulatory framework that specifies the uses and specifies the management measures, have means of surveillance and control and promote the dissemination of its beneficial effects, both at sea and in traditional fishing.

He reiterated that the sustainability of fisheries resources and the environment in which they live constitutes a priority for the Government. Only the long-term future of the sector can be assured through sustainable fishing, he stressed.

Spain is a pioneer in promoting the sustainability of fisheries according to the principle of Maximum Sustainable Performance, which has been achieved in 2019, one year before the date foreseen by the Common Fisheries Policy. This has been possible thanks to the collaboration with the fishing sector and the effort to improve scientific knowledge and maximize control of fishing activity.

Fight against illegal fishing

On the other hand, the minister mentioned that today, June 5, is the International Day of the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.

He has ensured that illegal fishing is a serious threat to sustainable fishing, as it damages the environment and economically and laborly harms the fishing communities.

He stressed that Spain is firmly committed to the fight against illegal fishing, with zero tolerance. This commitment is evident in the complex frameworks that have been dismantled, such as the 'Sparrow operation' or, more recently, the Tarantelo operation.

He recalled that Spain has been distinguished with an international prize that recognizes the integrated policy of the State to eradicate illegal fishing and eliminate any space of impunity. Last February the MAP received in Bangkok (Thailand) the third "Prize to stop Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing" that was delivered during the VI World Training Workshop on Fishing Compliance, promoted by the Network International Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS, for its acronym in English).

As an example of control work, only within the scope of Community commitments, Spain analyzes more than 50,000 imported fish consignments per year (1 million tonnes controlled) to prevent the entry of illegal fishing.

Planas has mentioned the commemoration of World Oceans Day, next Saturday, June 8, which this year has chosen as its main theme "gender equality in the oceans", in line with the Goal 5 of Sustainable Development.

In this sense, the Government of Spain, has assured, is taking important steps for full equality between women and men, through the implementation of the Social Strategy of the fishing sector, support for the creation of associations and organizations of women fishermen , the creation of Spanish Network of Women in the Fishing Sector or the Plan for Gender Equality in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector.

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