Source: Catalan International View
The fisheries industry in the Mediterranean is currently at a crossroads. Despite having implemented the Common Fisheries Policy in the region for decades, most assessed fished stocks –over 90%– are considered overexploited and most fleet segments struggle for economic viability.
Prompted by this dismal situation, following a conference in Catania, Sicily, last year the EC initiated a process aimed at leading to a permanent recovery in fish stocks and the creation of much improved conditions for the fishing industry. The recent Ministerial Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries, held in Malta in late March 2017, resulted in an important Declaration reaffirming this political commitment at the highest level.
Catalonia, with a fishing fleet of roughly 800 boats, still harbours a robust fisheries sector, which is vital to the economic fabric of coastal communities and is needed to form the backbone of its future national maritime strategy. The Catalan government, with a view to rising to the challenges presented by this important moment in time, has been working for over a year on a highly innovative and unique fisheries management approach tailored to the country’s fishing characteristics.