Vélez-Málaga has asked the government to suspend the new fishing management plan until it is fully evaluated, including its effects on the local fishing fleet. The resource management plan will regulate trawling in the western Mediterranean, and is intended to allow the recovery of species including hake, shrimp, lobster, and mullet.
The call from Vélez councillors comes after some boats based at Caleta de Vélez were allocated just 110 days work a year under the proposals from the Ministry of Agriculture in order to comply with European regulations.
Vélez is asking for a socio-economic study to be made in conjunction with the regional government of Andalucía into how the plan will affect the trawling sector in the Mediterranean. It says the Ministry should take into account the significant effort made by the fleet in recent years which has already led to a reduction in the number of boats presently operating.
There are presently 36 boats which engage in trawling in the five ports in the province of Málaga – Estepona, Marbella, Fuengirola, Malaga and Caleta de Vélez – and there are fears that the viability of the sector could be adversely affected by the proposals. Trawling by the Málaga fleet is multi-species making it the most attractive market for fish buyers, especially from the hospitality and retail sectors.