Eurofish magazine 4 2014

Page 42


Aurora De Blas Carbonero, Deputy Director for Fisheries Economics

Encouraging the role of women in Spanish fisheries The Spanish fisheries sector is finding it difficult to attract the next generation of workers, as young people look first at alternatives to the hard life and limited profitability that the fisheries sector offers. Changing this is a priority for the administration which is using policy initiatives and the resources offered by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to encourage fishers to diversify their activities. Aurora De Blas Carbonero, Deputy Director for Fisheries Economics discusses these and other initiatives in the fisheries administration aimed at improving labelling, traceability, and the lot of women in fisheries. How does the ministry view the active role played by Spanish associations such as APROMAR, CONXEMAR and ANFACO and how does the ministry support them regarding research and development? Sectoral associations have always played an important role in the continuous dialogue between the sector and the public administration. In fact, Spain created the first organisations within the fishing sector in the 11th century, and they have adapted their objectives and activities to different eras throughout their history. Their role is fundamental to innovation and to the technological development of fishing and aquaculture and for this, the entities need to be capable and knowledgeable of the needs of the different sub-sectors that they represent. In 2011 the large associations from the sector (from producers to retailers) created the Spanish Technological Platform for fisheries and aquaculture (Plataforma Tecnológica Española de la Pesca y de la Acuicultura or PTEPA), a forum that works on issues of common interest as well as on the transfer of knowledge. 42

Eurofish Magazine 4 / 2014

On 7 November 2013, the Secretary General for Fisheries presented the Strategic Plan 2014-2020 on technological innovation and development for fisheries and aquaculture, meeting thereby the requirements of the European programme Horizon 2020 and also the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The EMFF supports innovation in four areas: marine resources, aquaculture, trade and market, and environment. In the Spanish ministry we understand that innovation is synonymous with competitiveness, profitability and employment generation, therefore we would like to promote several actions that let associations drive large innovative projects, funded by the EMFF. In the coming period 2014-2020 fisheries local action groups will play a major role, and the new EMFF, by encouraging diversification into related activities, offers them more possibilities. What do you think of this development and what is Spain doing in this regard? Fisheries in Spain have a strong historical tradition and play a

Aurora De Blas Carbonero, Deputy Director for Fisheries Economics, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

very important role in many coastal communities that depend on the sector for their social and economic wellbeing.

This is a sector which loves tradition and is resistant to change, but the current tough situation is forcing the fishing communities