MORE than 200 Almeria fishing boats joined a one-day nationwide strike on June 4, protesting at new EU directives.
Owners, skippers and the crews of trawlers and other boats that fish out of Almeria City, Adra, Carboneras, Garrucha and Roquetas once again voiced opposition to new regulations for trawling that will affect 600 Spanish boats.
All called for the resignation of Virginijus Sinkevicius, the Europe’s Fisheries Commissioner, whom they accused of introducing policies on bottom trawling – now regarded as a danger to the environment – that threatened the survival of Spain’s fishing industry
Almeria province’s 30 trawlers currently provide direct employment for 150 people and indirect jobs for 100. They, like their counterparts along Spain’s Mediterranean coast, oppose new conditions reducing the time they may spend at sea and limiting catches.
In Almeria City, more than 100 fishing sector professionals gathered beside the Lonja fish market on the quay.
Using a pallet as a platform, the president of the Boatowners Association, Asopesca Angeles Cayuuela, warned of the catastrophe that awaited the industry should the new EU regulations go ahead.
Spain’s trawler fleet had already made a considerable effort by sending 20 per cent of its boats to the breaker’s yard and would now be forced to put to sea less often, she lamented.
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