Sardine fishermen in the Algarve have returned to the sea after a 45 day embargo imposed by the government.
However, the amount of sardines that they are allowed to catch until the end of this month has been limited to 118 tonnes. The total sardine catch allowed for the first five months of the year has been set at 652 tonnes, of which 534 tonnes were caught before March 15, when the embargo began. The quota for June and July is yet to be defined. A 50% reduction in the sardine fishing quota has been imposed by the government this year, following a study by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, which revealed that sardine stocks had decreased considerably since 2005. A new analysis of the stock by ICES, scheduled for July this year, will provide more information on how the sardine stocks have reacted to these measures.