Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries decided to close the bluefin tuna fishery to Spanish purse seiners in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic on 9 June 2011 due to the exhaustion of their quotas.
Spain was informed of this decision which is to become effective as of 17:00 today (Friday, 10th of June 2011), the Commission wrote in a press release.
“Due to the exhaustion of the Spanish quota, I had to close the Spanish bluefin tuna fishery. I worked closely with the Spanish authorities and am pleased to hear that Spain had, in the meantime confirmed its voluntary cessation of fishing authorisations and has called all its purse seiners back to port on the evening of the 9 June 2011″, Commissioner Maria Damanaki said.
The bluefin tuna fishing season for large trawlers (purse seiners) in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean started on 15 May and runs until 15 June. Vessels from seven EU member states are active in this fishery (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus). The EU’s overall quota is 5 756 tonnes for the 2011 season, reduced from 7 087 last year, of which over half is caught by the purse seiners fleet.
Read the decision: COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 557/2011 of 9 June 2011 prohibiting bluefin tuna fishing activities in the eastern Atlantic and in the Mediterranean for purse seiners flying the flag of or registered in Spain