File photograph of a fishing boat. / SUR

The EU will allow the Andalusian fishing fleet to trawl at depths of up to 400 metres in various exclusion zones

Trawling will be allowed in some of the 87 areas of the Atlantic which are covered by the European Commission's marine ecosystems protection regulation

JOSÉ LUIS PIEDRA Seville

The European Commission will, after all, allow trawling at depths of up to 400 metres in some of the 87 exclusion zones of the Atlantic which are covered by the marine ecosystems protection regulation, a decision which will enable the Andalusian fishing fleet to continue to catch fish by this method.

Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Fishing and Food, Luis Planas, has announced that Brussels wrote to the government to confirm that the practice could continue at those depths, after Spain had warned that there had been “notable errors” in the Commission’s measurements.

What is important, he said, was that the fishing sector could continue to trawl in these waters off Spain, Portugal, France and Ireland, although the Spanish government will still appeal against the EU regulation which affects about 500 vessels in this country.

Planas’ counterpart in the Andalusian government, Carmen Crespo, welcomed the fact that trawling will be possible in 41 of the 87 fishing grounds covered by the regulation. She said this is positive for the fleet in Andalucía, especially in the Gulf of Cadiz, the area most affected.

She also called on the European Commission to base its decisions on fishing restrictions on up-to-date scientific reports in future, to avoid causing damage to the sector.