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Portugal’s 2019 fish quotas delight skippers

Published on 19/12/2018

Portugal’s Minister of the Sea has played a blinder in Brussels, obtaining agreement that the commercial fleet can catch 131,000 tonnes of fish in 2019. This “historic maximum” for fish quotas is more than has ever been agreed.

Ana Paula Vitorino said today that, “We have very good news for Portugal, for our fishermen and fishing owners, with a 24% increase in total catches, reaching 131,000 tonnes.”

The Council of Fisheries Ministers’ meeting was a marathon session, leaving our minister delighted that the fishing quotas allocated to Portugal for the next year represent a cash increase of €35 million compared to 2018, allowing the fleet to land, “an overall value of around €220 million.”

Considering the most commercially important species, the Minister managed to hold on to current pescada (hake) quota, even after the European Commission had proposed a cut of 14%.

In the case of tamboril (monkfish), the increase is 5%, instead of the 2% originally proposed.

Other commercially important species are atum rabilho (bluefin tuna), for which the catch can increase by 11% next year, and ray, whose quota rises by 10% when it was expected to remain unchanged.

In the case of bacalhau (cod), a national obsession, the Portuguese fishing fleet legally can land 12% more next year from all the traditional fishing areas, including the Atlantic Northwest.

The share of carapau (horse mackerel) has increased by 69%, with the minister stressing that there is a great acceptance of this fish due to campaigns to increase its consumption.