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The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has approved a new management plan for purse seine fishing in the Spanish Mediterranean. This legislation, which has been in force since July 25, responds to the country’s need to continue advancing in sustainable fisheries management within the objectives of the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy.
In 2020, the fishing sector and autonomous communities in Spain began collaborating on seine fishing. After three years of joint efforts and support from Spanish scientific institutes, the country has successfully established legislation now.
As per the European strategy, the plan prioritizes the sustainable management of fishery resources exploited by the Spanish purse seine fleet in the Mediterranean. The approach constitutes a crucial cornerstone of the overall strategy.
More concrete measures, species and times
Specifically, the plan would be focused on two species: anchovy and sardine. For this purpose, using different scientific assessments separated according to the geographical sub-areas of the GFCM, different measures adapted to the reality of each area have been established. Some examples are the caps on catches per vessel or the increase of some minimum sizes, with certain flexibility and spatiotemporal closures that can be modified based on the evolution of the populations. To achieve this objective, the plan will organize technical meetings to monitor its application actively, involving the participation of the interested parties.
The new regulation takes an active approach, expanding the list of species that can be caught through this fishing method, such as squid, gilthead bream, and white permit. It also establishes specific conditions for the fishing activity, including minimum depths and distances from the coast. These adjustments aim to promote sustainable fishing practices and ensure the protection of marine resources, reflecting the latest conservation standards
Likewise, the new regulation has extended the list of species that can be caught by this modality and fishing periods, such as squid, gilthead bream, or white permit. In addition, the conditions for the development of the activity, in terms of minimum depths or distance from the coast, and technical measures, such as the dimensions of the gear.
Moreover, the plan includes the integration of advancements in using modern and efficient lighting devices for the fishing activity. Additionally, it emphasizes efforts towards habitat protection and conservation during the fishing process. These measures aim to promote environmentally responsible fishing practices.
What is seine fishing?
Purse seine fishing is a type of industrial fishing that uses the nets that give it its name, purse seines.
These nets are usually between 250 and 1000 meters long and about 50 meters wide. It floats to the surface thanks to the floats that it carries on the upper part floats on the surface.
In this fishing method, sailors encircle fish species like mackerel or jacks by utilizing large nets to surround the school of fish. They operate from a small boat equipped with an outboard motor, which carries one end of the net. This strategic maneuver forms a circle around the fish, effectively enclosing them. The process involves closing the bottom of the net, effectively trapping all the fish within it.
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