Damanaki closes bluefin fishery to Spain

14 Jun 2011

Maria Damanaki decided to close the bluefin tuna fishery to Spanish purse seiners in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic on 9 June, due to the exhaustion of their quotas.

This was effective as of last Friday, 10 June.

"Due to the exhaustion of the Spanish quota, I had to close the Spanish bluefin tuna fishery. I worked closely with the Spanish authorities and am pleased to hear that Spain had, in the meantime confirmed its voluntary cessation of fishing authorisations and has called all its purse seiners back to port on the evening of the 9 June 2011", the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said.

The bluefin tuna fishing season for large trawlers (purse seiners) in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean started on 15 May and runs until 15 June. Vessels from seven EU member states are active in this fishery (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus). The EU's overall quota is 5,756t for the 2011 season, reduced from 7,087 last year, of which over half is caught by the purse seiner fleet. 

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