Pressure for a total ban on sardine fishing has been averted for 2018.
The compromise: catches of up to 14,000 tons to be shared between Portugal and Spain.
Portugal is likely to be allocated two-thirds of the total (9,200 tons).
It’s nothing like the 20,000 tons requested by fishing associations, but it will ensure the summer sees the country’s signature fish back on sale in fish markets.
And it closes the door – for this year at least – on the recent call by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea for a 15-year ban on sardine captures altogether (click here).
Say reports today, the ‘deal’ presented in Brussels yesterday (Monday) includes the agreement for a “total ban” on sardine captures throughout the winter until April, while fishing solely for sardines will only be allowed from June 1.
The exact amounts of the shared quota are still to be fixed, but Portugal should get two-thirds, says tabloid Correio da Manhã, calculating this at 9,200 tons.
The quota has been based on the “existence of around 146,000 tons of sardines” between the areas of Finisterre and the Gulf of Cadiz, secretary of state for fisheries José Apolinário told CM, explaining that the objective is to guarantee that sardine fishing continues to be sustainable.
Meantime, all kinds of research and studies are ongoing between Portugal and Spain with a view to ‘saving the sardine’.
Sea and Atmosphere institute IPMA is already formulating a ‘sardine farming plan’ which would see the species raised in captivity and then released into the sea (click here).