Anchovy fishing in Bay of Biscay banned for year

19th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2007, BRUSSELS - The anchovy fishery off the coasts of France and Spain will remain closed for at least another year because of low stock levels, the European Union's executive arm said Thursday.

19 July 2007

BRUSSELS - The anchovy fishery off the coasts of France and Spain will remain closed for at least another year because of low stock levels, the European Union's executive arm said Thursday.

Though the anchovy stock in the Bay of Biscay rose to 30,000 tons this spring from 18,640 tons last year, the European Commission will keep the fisheries closed following recommendations from scientists that the severely depleted stock is still in danger.

"Scientists have been saying quite clearly that any form of fisheries would jeopardize the stocks," EU spokeswoman Mireille Thom said. "Quite simply, we can't take that risk."

Public aid to compensate affected fishermen will be drawn from the EU's new €3.8 billion (US$4.8 billion) fund to help Europe's embattled fisheries cut back catches and fleet sizes.

Details on the precise amount of aid will be worked out when Commission officials travel to France next week, Thom said. The Bay of Biscay is just one front in the EU's battle to save dwindling fish stocks.

Measures have been put in place to protect species including North Sea cod and bluefin tuna, causing friction with fishermen who believe their livelihood is being taken away from them.

The scientists who evaluated the fish stocks recommended the fisheries remain closed until at least July 2008, when new estimates of fish stocks are available.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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