A secret Spanish government document, seen by the Guardian, indicated that Spain’s prior socialist government was planning to abandon an EU directive on wasteful fishing practices. The directive aims to prevent fishermen from throwing away thousands of edible fish at sea each year. Currently, European fishermen are required to discard a large quantity of fish if they catch more than they are entitled to under a quota.
However, the Guardian reports that the previous Spanish government wanted to oppose the reforms and continue to allow fishermen to discard edible fish. The rationale behind this was that Spanish fisherman would be able to throw out less desirable fish, leaving room in their quotas for more valuable species.
Being the largest producer of fish in the EU, it is said that the hope for a reform of the law rests largely on Spain’s shoulders. Given the previous stance, the newly elected government is being urged to support any initiative that would lessen the amount of edible fish thrown away.
However, Spain has not had an amicable relationship with the EU of late when it comes to fishing. Last month the Telegraph reported that Spain was demanding compensation from the EU when the body cancelled a contract allowing European trawlers to fish in Moroccan waters.
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