Spanish European semester looms under the banner of a 'more realistic' common policy
06, Jul 2023
The six-month Spanish presidency of the EU will boost the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) system in fisheries. This was announced by the Spanish Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Luis Planas, during his participation in Luxembourg at the last Council of European Agriculture Ministers of the Swedish Presidency.
Planas recalled that it was Spain that proposed a system of multi-year fishing quotas for populations in EU waters, with the aim of increasing the efficiency and predictability of the activity of the European fleet. The fact that the European Commission has accepted this proposal shows that "we can start this journey with a vision of the future and a constructive spirit during the next semester", said the minister.
In general, the level of biological sustainability of marine waters, added Planas, has made progress, therefore now "the socio-economic dimension of this sustainability must also continue to be strengthened", because, he underlined, "without profitability there is no sustainability ”.
For this reason, the Spanish minister has proposed some changes to the European Fund for Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture (Fempa) to develop the necessary process of modernization and decarbonisation of the fleet in the coming years. In the meeting, the ministers also addressed the contents of the package on the common fisheries policy (CFP) that the Commission presented last February and to which Spain, after its publication, opposed. Now, Planas has assured that he supports the formulation of the latest proposal, which he considers "realistic" and more balanced.
The minister informed that Spain has participated in their debate with a "constructive approach", in line with the latest Council conclusions, which recognizes that the application of the Green Pact's 2030 biodiversity strategy is perfectly compatible, in marine areas protected areas, with the exercise of a sustainable and responsible fishing activity, including that practiced with bottom trawls.
On the necessary decarbonisation of the fishing sector, which will be the element on which the Informal Meeting of Fisheries Ministers to be held in Vigo on 17 and 18 July will revolve, Planas explained that it is important to have an ambitious framework of financing and regulatory changes that make it possible to promote the energy transition of the sector and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.