Sardine fishing ‘hammered beyond pale’, say fishermen

For those who love sardines, the season still hasn’t begun. Thanks to EU rules on quotas, the Portuguese ‘fleet’ isn’t being allowed to bring in the nation’s signature fish until June 3 – and even then limits are crippling: just 5,000 tons, with roughly the same amount allowed to be fished by the Spanish.

Fishermen’s fury centres on the fact that they truly believe the EU has ‘got it all wrong’.

New scientific ‘cruises’ show sardines have multiplied, and the way the fishermen see it, EU limits will simply kill the sector off, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

Reports today cite those busy at sea bringing in mackerel and horse-mackerel are seeing an ‘immense number of sardines”, some of which get caught up in the nets due to their size.

But because of rules and regulations, none of these fish can be brought into shore.

Hopes now centre on talks that should go ahead in Brussels in July, designed to push the EU into extending the limits on the basis of new scientific studies which apparently confirm fishermen’s assertions.

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