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Andalusian government shows support for local fishermen

Andalusian government shows support for local fishermen

It will finance modernization but also defend this traditional sector in view of proposed EU fishing quota cuts

On 8 December, the Andalusian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development announced that it will provide up to 86% of the total investment needed to modernize 15 fishing ports in the southern Spanish region. This translates to 8.2 million euros in grants, which the authorities believe are needed to upgrade and make this traditional economic sector more resilient.

And this is not all. In light of the recent proposal by the European Commission to introduce fishing quotas cuts for 2022, the regional government will fully support the protest manifesto issued by the fishermen’s professional associations. Andalusia will urge Madrid to stand up for the economic rights of fishermen at the next EU summit taking place 13-14 December.

An industry rife with high emotional value in many European regions

The Andalusian fishing fleet is made up of about 1,500 boats, in which more than 6,000 sailors work and who carry their activities out of 25 ports. Every year, around 55,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish are landed in the region, the sale value of which is over 170 million euros.

The resolution of the announced line of aid includes a series of actions that, on the one hand, affect the implementation of circular economy measures and the improvement of marketing centers in Andalusian ports, and on the other hand, seek to expand and adapt the fishing infrastructures, in order to facilitate the daily work of seafarers.

"More than 21,000 Andalusian families depend on the fishing activity and, now more than ever, they need the support of the Junta (regional government)," declared Carmen Crespo, the Andalusian Minister of Agriculture, who assured that the government "is a great ally of fishermen" in its objective of "guaranteeing its social, economic and environmental sustainability".

In this regard, the authorities look beyond the simple provision of funds and take up the role of advocates in what is always a highly emotional subject for coastal communities.

Minister Crespo stated that she demanded the Spanish national government to “do what is possible and what is impossible” to get Brussels to reverse its proposal for more fishing cuts. The problems have compounded since during the past two years the fishing sector has experienced decline in working days due to the pandemic restrictions. What’s more, the European Commission has for the first time decided to restrict the fishing of red prawns, which is considered an essential economic catch for the Mediterranean fleet.

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