Portugal wins “best ever” fishing quotas for 2017

A 16-hour “negotiational marathon” has ended with Brussels awarding Portugal with its best ever fishing quotas for 2017.

Not only are more fish to be allowed to be caught, but more species of “high commercial value”

Minister for the Sea Ana Paula Vitorino has called the result “excellent news for Portugal”.

“We are getting a total growth of 11% in values fixed by the quotas which corresponds to almost 121,000 tons being able to be caught next year,” she told reporters – stressing that some of the gains won over the table involve high-value stocks like monkfish, salt cod and ‘biqueirão’ (anchovies).

But the real coup came in the way Portugal defended ‘proposed cuts’ to quotas for species like hake – where Brussels actually wanted a 34% drop in fishing.

The meeting thrashed out into the early hours of the morning of Wednesday succeeded in slapping Brussels’ demands back almost 30% to just 5%, reports the Socialist Party (PS) website, as Vitorino “managed to persuade the rest of the EU’s fisheries ministers that stocks were in fact plentiful in Portuguese waters”.

Curiously, however, no reports on the quotas have yet mentioned sardines – the nation’s flagship species that perennially suffers from what fishermen claim are ‘grossly unfair quotas’.

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