Girona The state backtracks and lifts the four-month ban on sardine fishing, which theoretically was supposed to come into effect on the coast of Catalonia from October 1. In this way, the Spanish ministry modifies the initial plan and attends to the requirements of the Catalan brotherhoods, which, with the support of the Climate Action department, from the beginning were against the restrictions on fishing encirclement in the Mediterranean. The fishing sector and the Catalan government criticized that banning the capture of sardines during the autumn would not have any ecological benefits and would lead to the ruin of the business.
The sardine represents a quarter of the annual fish catches in Catalonia and, in order to guarantee its reproduction and sustainable subsistence, during August and September the Catalan fleet assumes two months of biological shutdown. The fishermen defend, however, that adding four more months of closure by decree would be the definitive death blow to the sector. This is why the General Secretariat of Fisheries of the State has agreed to agree with the Generalitat on less restrictive and consensual measures, which balance the preservation of the environment with the realization of socio-economic activity. This is confirmed by Sergi Tudela, director general of Maritime Policy and Sustainable Fishing: “The four-month ban on sardines has been repealed and has been transformed into an extension of the biological shutdown and in the agreement that in March it will be cut the fleet by 20%”, defends Tudela, who concludes: “Now the sardine, the fishing sector and society as a whole wins”.
The sardine represents a quarter of the annual fish catches in Catalonia”
A species impossible to exterminate
L’Escala was one of the ports most threatened by the State’s initial intention to ban it, since 80% of its income depends on the catches of sardines, anchovies and seiton. A fortnight ago, in an appearance before the media, the patron saint of the Escalan confraternity, Josep Lluís Sureda, explained the reasons that made the stoppage unfeasible: “When the net is cast, it is impossible to destroy the anchovy or seiton the sardine, so the ban leads to a mortality that will serve no purpose and will also add pressure to the seiton.” Sureda also explained that the Generalitat and the Catalan fishing sector have been claiming for years to have a management plan to preserve bluefish species, but not with “inadequate” measures that “reveal complete ignorance”.
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