The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has considered “unacceptable” the reduction of fishing days in the Mediterranean by 2023 proposed by the European Commission.

“Spain cannot support a reduction in fishing days like the one proposed. We are talking about an additional reduction of three weeks per vessel,” he pointed out.

The minister has defended a balanced fishing agreement for Spain, which allows the activity and profitability of the fleet to be maintained, while preserving resources.

This was expressed this Sunday at the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of the European Union (EU) held in Brussels, in which they will try to reach a political agreement on the total allowable catches (TAC) and quotas for 2023 in Community and non-EU waters, as well as fishing opportunities, on days of activity, in the Mediterranean.

The minister stressed that the priorities for Spain are to achieve increases in the quotas for southern hake, a species of great interest to the fleet and to consumers, and whose biological situation has improved considerably. Planas has trusted that, after eight years of cuts, thanks to favorable scientific data, the fishing possibilities for this species will increase.

Regarding eel, Spain does not share the “drastic cut” proposed in fishing periods, which in practice means the closure of the fishery, and has maintained the importance of “balanced proposals”.

In relation to the negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom, the minister has shown his concern, because it should have been signed this Saturday, December 10. Therefore, he has advocated for “more time to reach a good deal” before adopting a quick bad deal.

Likewise, Spain, with the support of France and Portugal, has raised the need to set, for certain fishing species, multi-annual quotas, from two to three years, to provide greater stability and planning capacity to the fishing activity. The objective of this initiative, which would be launched under the Spanish presidency in the second half of 2023, is for the fishing sector to be able to better plan its business activity, under multi-year scientific advice.

“If we make a collective effort, we can identify these stocks and move forward. It will be a sign that we are modernizing ourselves, as a Council, at the same time that we are modernizing the sector,” he remarked.

The meeting will continue this Monday, December 12, where they will discuss the market situation, the strategic plans of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), geographical indications and quality regimes, animal welfare, as well as the sustainable use of phytosanitary products. and labeling on the front of the packages.