By Chris King • 12 March 2022 • 19:28
Shortage of fresh fish anticipated in Andalucia due to high fuel costs.
The conflict in Ukraine is creating more problems in Spain every day, with mounting fuel costs, and energy prices being affected. Fishermen in Andalucia are now warning of a probable shortage of fresh fish next week.
As Manuel Fernandez, president of the Andalucian Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds pointed out, there has been no agreement to stop the fleet in the region, but more and more boats are mooring up because they are unable to make ends meet, and the sale of fishing vessels is not profitable.
According to sources in the sector, there are 1,700 fishing boats in Andalucia, with 5,000 seamen working on them. The high price of fuel is making their activity unprofitable, as the sale of the fish they catch is not enough to pay for diesel, wages and social security.
“This Friday, a large part of the trawler fleet in the Gulf of Cadiz (which includes Huelva) has already stopped. Of the 82 purse seiners, only 14 are fishing. Of the 133 trawlers, 60 per cent are moored”, indicated Fernandez.
This coming Tuesday, March 15, there is a meeting scheduled between the two employers’ associations, FNCP, Cepesca, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, to address the rise in fuel prices, he informed.
All diesel used by the fishing boats has a VAT rebate, so until now they have been paying €0.30/litre. “However, we went from €0.30/litre a few weeks ago to €0.60, and now we are at €1.20/litre. For trawlers, the cost of fuel has normally represented 40 per cent of the sale value of the fish caught, but now it is up to 80 per cent” denounced Mr Fernandez.
“A trawler fishing for multi-species usually consumes 1,200 litres of fuel, which now means spending €1,440 on diesel. If we normally get around €1,800 from sales, we are left with just €400 to pay social security and payroll, which means we lose money”, he argued.
Adding, “We fishermen don’t want to leave the squares without supplies, but this is something that will happen from next week onwards if the boats continue to be moored. If there is anything, it will be anchovies and sardines, but at the price of gold”, as reported by sevilla.abc.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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