Spain asks European Commission to suspend and review ban on deep-sea fishing

Spain's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas. Image: Gobierno de España

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has urged the European Commission (EC) to suspend the application of the implementing regulation on marine protected areas.

This regulation prohibits fishing in 87 deep-water areas on the continental shelf and Luis has urged the EC to revise it immediately on the basis of new scientific data that are already available, according to the Spanish government.

He stated that, if the Commission does not accede to the request made by Spain and supported in the public session by the several Member States such as France, Ireland, Portugal, Denmark, Greece and the Netherlands, “we will take the measures we consider appropriate”, without ruling out the possibility of lodging an appeal with the Court of Justice of the European Union, as there is a basis for doing so.

At the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers of the European Union (EU), which is being held in Brussels on Monday, September 26, Planas stressed that “Europe is at war” and that the agri-food sector, including the fisheries sector, “is one of the pillars of our resistance.”

For this reason, the minister does not understand the Commission’s decision to push ahead so quickly with this regulation, which seriously affects the interests of the Community fisheries sector.

He assured that Spain is in favour of protecting those vulnerable marine ecosystems that, on the basis of scientific studies, should be protected. However, he expressed his disagreement with the Community regulation because, in both form and substance, it contains “serious errors that make it clearly harmful to the fishing interests of the Spanish fleet.”

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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