Planas has underlined the Government's intention to work so that fisheries and aquaculture continue to grow in profitability and competitiveness, while adapting to environmental requirements. In this task, dialogue and joint work will be a fundamental tool to improve and consolidate the position of this sector as a leader in the international arena.
This is the first time, in many years, that a Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has a meeting with such a wide and varied representation of the fishing sector in its different facets: extractive, aquaculture, processing industry, marketing and social organizations.
At the meeting, the minister explained that the work developed since 2018 will serve as a basis for promoting new initiatives. Among them, he cited the renewal of the fisheries agreement with Morocco, the successful full application of the landing obligation, positive results in the TAC negotiations and quotas, the updating of the pending aid for exercises prior to the Organizations of Fisheries Producers, improvements in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, promotion of social recognition of the work of women in the fisheries sector and the implementation of institutional campaigns to promote the consumption of products of fishing and aquaculture.
Economic, social and environmental sustainability
During this term, fisheries and aquaculture policy will revolve around the three axes of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. The efforts made by the fisheries sector to guarantee the maintenance of marine ecosystems will allow it to take important steps towards the so-called "blue economy".
In this way, our main fisheries in the Atlantic are already being exploited according to the Maximum Sustainable Performance, although the minister has indicated that work must continue to guarantee the future of fishing in other areas, such as in the Mediterranean.
To this end, research and scientific knowledge in fisheries matters will continue to be given a strong boost in the coming years, in particular, strengthening cooperation with national scientific institutes. In this area, the Ministry will continue to make available its three fishing and oceanographic research vessels.
Likewise, one of the main lines of action will be to consolidate the application of the landing obligation, for which the Ministry will guide its efforts in achieving greater selectivity of fishing gear and favoring a more efficient use of fishing quotas. .
Externally, Planas has ensured that the presence of the Spanish fleet will continue to be strengthened in international fishing grounds and seeking new fishing opportunities, through sustainable EU fishing agreements with third countries.
In relation to the 'brexit', Spain is working so that the fishing agreement is in July, "it will be necessary for the annual negotiation of the TACs – total allowable catches – and quotas" at the end of the year. The mandate that the European Union has for negotiation responds to Spanish interests. "Our position is to exchange access to water for access to markets," he said.
Modernization of the fishing sector
Another of the great commitments of this Government is the one that has to do with the necessary modernization of the fishing sector, with special emphasis on improving safety, well-being and energy efficiency.
The generational change will be favored in the same way, with a new regulation of the professional titles of the fishing sector, the promotion of professional training or the incorporation of digitalization. And it will continue to offer strong support to the Spanish Women's Network in the Fishing Sector and to the work of women's associations in the sector.
On the other hand, the minister has referred to the measures that will be implemented in terms of promotion, within the framework of Foods of Spain, to value the variety and diversity of fishery and aquaculture products.
It has broken down the legislative package that is planned to be developed over the next four years, following the guiding principles of the Common Fisheries Policy. In this sense, 4 bills will be developed: Sustainable Fisheries and Fisheries Research; Digitalization, Management and Marketing of the Fishing Sector; Modernization of the Control and Inspection and the Sanctioning Regime in the fishing activity; and sustainable aquaculture.