The Official State Gazette (BOE) has published this Saturday the Sustainable Fishing and Fisheries Research Law, the last procedure for its entry into force after the final approval of the text in the Cortes.

The new regulations have the objectives of strengthening the conservation and sustainable use of fishing resources, ensuring that the activity contributes to job creation, wealth generation and social cohesion in coastal areas, and strengthening the link between science and technology. political action in this matter, as stressed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in a statement.

In this sense, the head of the department, Luis Planas, stressed that the new law guarantees an “optimal and sustainable” use of fishing resources and, with it, the profitability of the Spanish fleet. In addition, the Government complies with a programmatic commitment that was due to the need to update the State Maritime Fishing Law, promulgated in 2001.

The minister has also stressed that the new law strengthens measures for the protection and regeneration of fishing resources and regulates determining aspects such as the declaration of fishing protection zones or activity in protected marine spaces.

Likewise, he has underlined the social aspects of the law, such as the greater protection in the face of retirement for certain groups of workers whose professions are painful and involve wear and tear. For example, netters, neskatillas, packers and shellfish workers on foot will have a coefficient that reduces the minimum age to receive the retirement pension.

The standard, which is produced in the context generated by the European Green Pact, has as its transversal axis the principle of sustainability from an environmental, social and economic perspective. In general, it seeks to guarantee a balance between the necessary conservation of the marine environment and the development of a fishing activity that is “profitable, attractive and competitive”.

Thus, the new law introduces the power to adopt measures to strengthen the conservation and sustainable use of fishing resources, such as limiting the volume of catches or regulating the fishing effort, the gear and gear used, the weight or size of the species. , or the establishment of closed seasons.

It is also committed to a more efficient and flexible use of quotas. In addition to clarifying the necessary requirements to be able to carry out the activity and receive an allocation of fishing opportunities, the quota distribution criteria are updated as a mechanism aimed at rationalizing and ordering the exploitation of fishing resources and guaranteeing maximum legal certainty to the operators.

The new criteria also favor better planning that results in the economic profitability of the sector and the areas in which it is based, and introducing the possibility that when these quotas have not been used for a certain period of time, they can be redistributed by the General Secretariat of Fisheries to other users.

Likewise, the law is committed to strengthening the link between science and fisheries policy and establishes that decision-making in fisheries management must be based on scientific knowledge.

Among other novelties, the law also introduces the regulation of recreational fishing and addresses, for the first time, the management of fish genetic resources, which have great potential in the field of food safety. Likewise, the Fisheries Advisory Forum is created, as a body for consultation, preparation and monitoring.

In addition, the publication of the new law coincides with the news that the Spanish fishing fleet will be able to capture 2,321 tons of Arctic cod this year in the Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEE) of Norway, under the annual agreement signed this Friday between the European Union and this country on exchange of fishing opportunities and mutual access to the North Sea.

After several months of negotiation, the agreement contemplates that the Community fishing fleet will have a quota of Arctic cod of 9,150 tons, similar to that of the previous year. Now the agreement between the EU and Norway for the fishing of this species in the waters of the Svalbard archipelago is pending.