The fleet may stop its activity between one and three months due to the delicate situation of the species and will receive compensatory aid


The General Secretariat for Fisheries has published this Friday the resolution in the Official State Gazette (BOE) establishing a period of voluntary stoppage in the jack mackerel fishery for the purse seine fleet and for certain small gear vessels dependent on it species.

Specifically, and after the publication of the resolution in the BOE, the interested vessels can already make their stops.

Both the shipowners and the crew will receive compensatory aid with financing from the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (Fempa) for the period that they remain unemployed, a minimum of one month and a maximum of three months, and always before October 1 of 2023.

With this measure, the Government fulfills its commitment to support the fishing fleet affected by the closure of the horse mackerel fishery due to its delicate situation.

The regulations for the development of Fempa in Spain contemplate the possibility of granting aid for the temporary stoppage aimed at a specific species in a situation of overexploitation or at risk for the vessels whose catches depend on it.

The European Union and the United Kingdom agreed last December – the horse mackerel fishery is carried out in shared waters – a 78% reduction in the horse mackerel quota for this year in the Northwest Atlantic, which can only be caught as bycatch, given the delicate situation of the species. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has recommended a zero Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for this year.

Among the specific conditions that will be required of the vessels, it is stipulated that they must have a dependence on jack mackerel catches, with respect to the total commercialized catches, equal to or greater than 18% in the last three years, according to the data available in the General Secretariat of Fisheries.

In this way, 86 vessels will be able to benefit, distributed among the different autonomous communities as follows: 71 in Galicia, eight in Cantabria, four in the Basque Country and three in Asturias.

The annex to the resolution itself includes the list of vessels that meet this last requirement and with the minimum 120 days of activity in the two previous years required by the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund and its implementing regulations in Spain.

Agriculture has specified that the management and payment of the aid will be carried out by the autonomous communities, which must make the corresponding calls, prior territorialization of the funds, which will be agreed upon in a sectoral conference on fishing.