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Protecting sardines

Algarve fishermen are up in arms over a government measure to cut sardine fishery by half this year, something they say will lead to further unemployment in the sector.

The announcement by the Directorate-General of Fisheries and Agriculture means that fishermen will see their sardine quota reduced by more than 50% in comparison to last year.

Algarve fishing producers Barlapescas and Olhãopesca are allowed to catch, between them, 611 tonnes of sardine during the first five months of 2012 while during the same period last year the two organisations caught 1,400 tonnes.

The government says the measure is vital to protect baby sardines and better control of the sardine fishery.