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Needed: Simpler rules and greater balance between environmental, economic, and social dimensions

Fighting the landing obligation Spain dominates most statistics related to the ďŹ shing sector in Europe, whether it is gross tonnage of the eet, catches, or employment. Within the EU the Spaniards are also the biggest consumers of ďŹ sh per capita after the Portuguese. Fish and seafood have thus almost iconic status in Spain and, through the associated industries, make signiďŹ cant economic, cultural, and social contributions to Spanish society. But the sector also faces challenges, not least a declining tendency in ďŹ sh consumption and administrative measures such as the landing obligation. Javier Garat represents the ďŹ shing industry both nationally and at the European level and speaks here about some of the issues affecting the sector today. The Spanish Fishing Confederation (CEPESCA) is one of the most important European business fishing organizations representing fishing vessels associations, individual fishing companies and ships, as well as workers. Its objectives include joining forces to defend the professional and economic interests of the Spanish fishing sector. As General Secretary what do you see as major opportunities for the development of the sector, and which are the most important challenges? We cannot forget that the fishing sector provides millions of meals every day. Spanish catches provide 3.7 billion meals per year, this is, more than 10 million meals per day. This is our major opportunity. To be able to produce all these meals in a sustainable way so we can offer them year after year to our consumers. This means that we need to be responsible and think about our future generations, taking care of the stocks and of our people, our crews.

Javier Garat, General Secretary of the Spanish Fishing Confederation (CEPESCA), and President of EuropĂŞche, the organisation representing fishermen in the EU.

Concerning the challenges, I see at least four clear ones: the landing obligation, Brexit, Mediterranean Sea recovery, and a level playing field.

fight against illegal fishing activities are also CEPESCA objectives. The Spanish Government is deeply committed to combating IUU fishing which has several negative economic, commercial, environmental, and social impacts, among them threatening both fish stocks and the livelihoods of law-abiding fishermen. From the fishing sector’s point of view, how can this be improved?

The development of sustainable and responsible fishing, and the

It is true that the Spanish government is making an extraordinary

effort to fight IUU fishing and I think that nowadays Spain is leading this fight. The EU IUU legislation is one of the strongest in the world and can be used as a model for others. I´m sure that with the implementation of these rules, IUU fishing has been reduced considerably. We need to further work together industry and governments and try to expose those who are not respecting the rules. At the end, it is an unfair competition to those that try to respect the rules and that have higher 


exploitation costs because they comply with them. We still need more transparency from certain Asian countries, capacity building for developing countries to enable them to control adequately the fishing activities that take place in their waters and their markets and, again, a level playing field. Everybody should abide by similar rules concerning conservation measures, social conditions, safety at sea, etc. &VSPlTI    


Profile for Eurofish

Eurofish Magazine 5 2017  

Featuring Albania's fisheries and aquaculture sector, this issue also looks at EU and Japan's trade agreement while the fisheries section co...

Eurofish Magazine 5 2017  

Featuring Albania's fisheries and aquaculture sector, this issue also looks at EU and Japan's trade agreement while the fisheries section co...

Profile for eurofish