PSD accuses Government of approving fisheries agreements without listening to the sector

Social Democratic deputies accuse the Government of showing "disrespect" for the "interests, demands and appeals of the fisheries sector"

José Carlos Barros and Cristóvão Norte, PSD deputies elected by the Algarve, questioned the Government this Friday, the 5th, on the approval of the Fisheries Border Agreements for the River Guadiana and the River Minho, approved under the terms of Decree No. 25/2018 , of December 12, and which will be in force for a minimum period of five years.

According to the parliamentarians, it is "unacceptable that the process has not been the subject of public debate" and a "deep evaluation process of the previous Agreement", bearing in mind the "known and widespread criticism" of fishermen and associations of the sector to conditions and characteristics in which the activity of the Spanish fleet in Portuguese waters has been developed, namely in the border areas of Minho and Guadiana.

These criticisms are based on the understanding that the conditions established by the Agreements "are more favorable to Spanish fishermen than to Portuguese fishermen", since, given the overexploitation and lesser abundance of resources in the areas in question along the coast of the neighboring country, the Our fishermen do not use, in full and frequently, the licenses that the agreements allow.

Afterwards, «under the understanding that it is current practice of Spanish fishermen and shipowners to disregard the legally established rules and technical measures, namely in terms of fishing hours, daily catch limits, minimum catch sizes for some species and limits fishing areas'.

Finally, “due to the well-known inspection difficulties on the part of the Portuguese authorities – publicly recognized… –, creating a climate of apparent impunity and frequent situations of conflict”.

«It is in this context of widespread criticism that the Portuguese Government has just approved a new Agreement between the Portuguese Republic and the Kingdom of Spain, without public debate and, as far as is known, without an assessment of the conditions for compliance with the previous Agreement… This decision by The Portuguese Government – ​​in itself incomprehensible given the picture described – is even more serious if we take into account that the previous conditions are fully maintained, both in terms of fishing areas, the gears considered and the number of licenses granted...», emphasize the two Algarve deputies in a note sent to the newsrooms.

The only difference is that the period of validity, unlike the two years considered in the previous Agreement, is now five years, automatically renewable for a period of two years...

The PSD denounces this Government action and «the disrespect it shows for the interests, demands and appeals of the fishing sector, in a field where any new decision would recommend and would require transparency, public debate and an in-depth evaluation process of the previous Agreement, namely regarding the activity carried out in mutual waters, catches made and compliance with established legal norms».