About 25 Spanish and Portuguese sardine fishery organizations meet today in Peniche in an unprecedented meeting to discuss problems in the sector, including the possible reduction of catches to 2019.
On both sides of the border, the sector warns that “it is not possible to continue to fish less and survive” and this is one of the reasons for the meeting, Humberto Jorge, president of the Association of Fish Producers’ Organizations (ANOP) do Cerco, host of the meeting, in the district of Leiria.
The sector does not accept that the fishing opportunities for 2019, which have not yet been defined by the governments of the two countries, are lower than those for 2018, given that reports from scientific vessels to observe the state of the resource show that there is an improvement in ‘ stocks’ of sardines.
“We urgently need to, because the resource demonstrates it, to fish a little more to replenish our incomes and to reduce the sacrifices” that the sector has been making in the last five years of crisis, with reductions of the annual quota of sardine catches for countries.
ANCO Cerco said that some 15 Spanish organizations, associated with the Organization of Fisheries Producers and the Association of Shipowners of the Siege of the Autonomous Community of Galicia and the Andalusian Federation of Fishermen’s Confraternities will be represented.
On the Portuguese side, ten organizations will be present, eight of which are associated with ANOP Cerco: Vianapesca (Viana do Castelo), Apropesca (Póvoa do Varzim), Propeixe (Matosinhos), Litoral Center (Figueira da Foz), Opcentro Peniche), Sesibal (Sesimbra, Setúbal and Sines), Barlapescas (Portimão) and Olhãopesca (Olhão).
Since September 2018, fishermen from Portugal and Spain are unable to fish for sardines, a situation that will continue until May.