The Spanish fleet will have the highest available quota for the Iberian sardine fishery in recent years, with a total of 18,962 tons, 4,000 more than those available in 2022, as reported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food .

And it is that, it is from 00:00 hours this Monday when the fishery has started, according to a resolution issued by the General Secretariat of Fisheries. It is also the earliest start of the fishery in recent years, after more than three months of closure, since in 2022 it opened at the beginning of April, and traditionally from the beginning of the application of management plans it began at the beginning of of May.

Together with Portugal, a country with which the management of this fishery has been carried out in a coordinated manner for years, the European Commission has been informed that an initial amount available to be fished by both fleets of 56,604 tons has been set, according to the latest recommendation of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES, for its name in English).

The 18,962 tons that correspond to Spain are distributed among the purse seine fleet of the Gulf of Cádiz, the purse seine, racú and piobardeira fleet of the Cantabrian and Northwest and the xeito fleet, according to the distribution percentages established by an order of June 1 .

In the case of the purse seine fleet in the Gulf of Cádiz, there is an individual distribution by vessel, while in the case of the Bay of Biscay and the Northwest, the fishery is regulated by establishing limits, to allow the best use of the available quantity.

For this reason, catch and landing caps are set for fishing days, differentiated by the number of crew members on the vessel (up to 7 crew members or eight or more crew members). These ceilings are higher than in previous years, taking into account the increase in the quantity available.

The department headed by Luis Planas explains that after several years of a precarious situation for this species in Iberian waters, and the application of important catch limitations, “very obvious signs” of recovery are currently being observed based on scientific surveys of evaluation that take place throughout the year, both in spring and autumn, and that have been reflected in the available scientific opinions.