The acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has participated in the High Level Conference held in Morocco to review the progress made in the fisheries sustainability of the Mediterranean.

This conference is the fruit of the commitments acquired with the MedFish4Ever Declaration, signed in 2017 by 16 coastal countries, to work together for the future of fisheries resources.

As stressed by the minister, one of the priorities of the Government of Spain is to achieve sustainability of fisheries resources and the marine environment, since only through sustainable fisheries can you ensure a future for the sector and the inhabitants of the areas coastal.

Sustainability of marine resources

In order to achieve the sustainability of marine resources, it is essential to protect certain areas. In this area, Spain has the most extensive Natura 2000 marine network, with almost a quarter of the total Marine Natura Network in the European Union. Planas has made special mention of the new Marine Protected Area of ​​the Cetacean Corridor of the Mediterranean, which has allowed to exceed the objective of 10% of the Spanish marine environment before 2020.

Regarding the protection of fishery resources, the minister said that Spain has been promoting a Network of Marine Reserves for 33 years, which currently has 11 spaces, 8 of them in the Mediterranean. The new Sa Dragonera Marine Reserve, of great biological value, will soon join these spaces.

Likewise, the minister has shown the full support of Spain for a multi-year management plan for the demersal species of the Western Mediterranean, recently adopted by the European Union, an initiative based on a limitation of fishing effort.

Likewise, Spain is one of the few countries in the Mediterranean that has a specific regulation of recreational fishing, one of the objectives pursued by the MedFish4Ever Declaration.

Planas has also highlighted the progress made in the field of fisheries cooperation with the neighboring countries of the Mediterranean, through the COPEMED project, an initiative promoted by Spain since 1995.

In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food develops a fisheries cooperation action in the field of training through the vessel Intermares, in fishing grounds around the world. It is a boat specially designed to be a floating university, with equipment for practical training

Challenges for the future

Within the framework of this High Level Conference, Luis Planas has participated in a panel dedicated to analyzing possible measures for the full implementation of the MedFish4Ever declaration.

In this forum, the minister has ensured that the sustainability of fishing in the Mediterranean can only be achieved through a shared and coordinated effort of all parties involved, within the framework of trust and regional cooperation that involves the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean (GFCM).

On the other hand, Planas has pointed out that illegal fishing is one of the main global scourges that affect the sustainability of the oceans. As he has assured, the control of illegal fishing requires a close cooperation, both regionally and internationally, based in proper governance of the oceans.

Planas understands that important steps have been taken to combat illegal fishing, such as the progressive ratification of the Port State Measures Agreement, the World Register of Fishing Vessels of the FAO or the Network for the Exchange of Information and Experiences among countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Spain, a world leader in the fight against illegal fishing, participates in all the initiatives promoted by the European Union, among which is the regulation on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, or the Unified Registry that is launching the European Comission.

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