The acting ministers of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, and Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, have highlighted the existing collaboration between the two departments for the surveillance, inspection and control of maritime fishing activities.
This collaboration is making it possible to deal effectively with the control of fishing quotas, the activity of the fleet and the fight against illegal and unreported illegal fishing.
A coordination between the different bodies of the administrations that began in 1997 through the signing of a Framework Agreement, by virtue of which it was agreed to transfer the use of seven tall patrol boats from the General Secretariat of Fisheries to the Directorate General of the Guard Civil and, as of 2015, the assignment and coordination of the use of four helicopters configured specifically for the surveillance and inspection of fishing activity.
New collaboration framework agreement
To strengthen these collaboration mechanisms and consolidate the existing agreements in a single text, both Ministers today signed a Framework Agreement that establishes the actions in terms of inspection, surveillance and support to the fishing fleet, which are reflected in three areas of cooperation.
On the one hand, collaboration with the Maritime Service of the Civil Guard (SERMAR) in the inspection of fishing vessels, to verify compliance with national and community legislation and the inspection and monitoring of their activities. A performance that is carried out with the seven tall patrol boats ceded by the General Secretariat of Fisheries: Guadiana River, Almanzora River, Andarax River, Guadalete River, Nervión River, Francolí River and Guadiar River.
It will also collaborate with the Air Service of the Civil Guard, which performs surveillance, control and inspection of fishing activities at sea, surveillance and support to the fishing fleet, as well as any action that may directly impact on conservation and protection of fishing resources, with the four helicopters provided by the General Secretariat of Fisheries.
The Framework Agreement also contemplates cooperation with the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA), which carries out actions on land monitoring and control of compliance with fishing regulations, referred to fishing gear and catches, transport, storage in cold stores, as well as as the control of recreational fishing and the corresponding activity of sports clubs, among others.
To develop this work, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will contribute a maximum of six million euros per year in terms of operating and maintenance costs derived from the inspection, monitoring and support activities carried out by the Ministry of the Interior.
Mechanisms for interministerial coordination
The Framework Agreement establishes that the coordination between the two interested parties be implemented through Annual Programs of Comprehensive Control of Fishing Activities (PACIAP), in which the actions of each of the parties are established, as well as the means provided and operating expenses, maintenance and exploitation.
It also contemplates the creation of a Joint Monitoring and Exploitation Commission of the Agreement that will examine both economic and operational aspects related to compliance with the provisions of the Framework Agreement, as well as preparing and approving the annual operating budget and the establishment of an Organ Permanent Liaison and Coordination, of an operational nature, in charge of the detailed coordination for the development, monitoring and reprogramming of the fisheries surveillance operations contemplated in the Framework Agreement.
This agreement, Planas underlined, is an essential tool to maintain our commitment to fisheries sustainability and the fight against illegal fishing, since only by guaranteeing the sustainability of fisheries can we guarantee the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the fishing sector of the future .
For its part, Grande-Marlaska has stressed that, within the broad concept of human security, the sustainability of the environment, including fisheries, is a responsibility of the present and a duty of the future. And in that task, the Government, the Ministry of Interior and, of course, the Civil Guard.