Commissioner Maria Damanaki meets Ana Miranda, Memebre of the European Parliament, and representatives of the Galician small-scale and shellfish sectors
Commissioner Maria Damanaki met with Ana Miranda, Member of the European Parliament, and representatives of the Galician small-scale and shellfish sectors. Commissioner Damanaki highlighted that numerous measures in favour of small-scale fleets are included under the Common Fisheries Policy reform proposals: for instance, the small scale coastal fleet can benefit from higher aid intensity (75% as opposed to 50% for other beneficiaries) under the future European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and small scale fleets are exempted from several provisions of the control rules (such as logbook obligations) and they are also exempted from the proposed system of Transferable Fishing Concessions.
The current European Fisheries Fund has already supported projects by small-scale fishermen and shellfish gatherers: it supported mariscadoras in the Ría de Vigo and in Costa da Morte FLAG projects to set up a company to develop and market new products from goose barnacles. Support under the future European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will be extended, as it includes, for the first time, those who practice the "pêche a pied" in the definition of fishermen, which will make them eligible for aid foreseen.
Last but not least, the proposal for the new Common Market Organisation includes mandatory labeling information including the "date of catch": this can add freshness value for coastal fisheries.
Commissioner Damanaki also emphasized that the small-scale sector will also benefit from the positive socio-economic effects of restoring and maintaining fish stocks above Maximum Sustainable Yield levels.
Spanish small-scale fleet (< 12 meters with passive gears) has just over 7,500 vessels; this is about 73 % of the total Spanish fleet. This share is comparable to the EU fleet (75 % small-scale vessels). The Spanish small-scale fleet accounts for only 4 % of volume (gross tonnage) and 17 % of engine power, due to the large large-scale long-distance fleet; the Union's averages are 8 % and 32 % respectively.
The catching sector of Galicia employs 22,300 persons directly and its contribution to the economy of Galicia is 2.4 %. The coastal fleet is very important in Galicia, providing 90 % of all aquaculture production in Spain. Processing has a turnover double that of the catching sector, employing over 10,000 full time jobs, mainly occupied by women.