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Horta ,  December 04, 2019

Regional Government proposes creation of quotas for more vulnerable species and less selective fishing gear

Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology announced at the meeting of the Regional Fisheries Council in Horta a proposal for the creation of regional quotas for some species that "need more serious monitoring," namely forkbeard, blackbelly rosefish, offshore rockfish, king crab, European conger, common mora, brown crab and Mediterranean parrotfish.

Gui Menezes pointed out that the figures presented were based on "the history of recent years," ensuring that this measure will not have a "major impact in terms of average catches" of those species.

The figures are close to the current 'status quo'," the government official said, adding that this measure reflects a "precautionary view." Nonetheless, it will have a positive effect on income.

Gui Menezes also stated that the Government intends to introduce quotas for several "sensitive species" as by-catch, namely comb grouper, dusky grouper, ray, shortfin mako shark, blue shark and dogfish shark.

With these measures, we believe we are tackling another problem regarding more sensitive and vulnerable species and everyone understands that we must implement more restrictive measures," said the Regional Secretary.

During the meeting, the results of the management measures implemented for species of high commercial value, namely seabream and "beryx" (alfonsino and splendid alfonsino), were also presented.

The government official proposed some amendments to the management model for "beryx," stipulating that each fishing vessel in 2020 will be allowed to catch 1% of the quota allocated to the Region per fishing tide. Currently, the figure stands at 1.5%.

If 70% of the quota allocated to the Azores for "beryx" is used, the fishing of splendid alfonsino (Beryx splendens) will be prohibited. The unloading of bycatches will be limited up to 5% of the total unloadings per vessel and per each fishing tide, while the fishing of alfonsino (Beryx decadactylus) may continue until the full use of the quota allocated to both species is reached.

This meeting also focused on the presentation of the results of the management model implemented since 2018. It has resulted in a significant increase in the income generated from these two species as well as a in more equitable distribution of catches by a larger number of vessels.

The creation of a scheme to support the voluntary cessation of “less selective fishing gear that is also more harmful to the marine environment,” namely gillnets, bottom longlines and traps, is another measure announced by the Regional Secretary, which will require the definition of “certain criteria.”           

According to Gui Menezes, there is an excessive number of gillnets on some islands, with implications for the conservation of coastal resources. In this context, he defended the need “to reduce the use of these types of fishing gear.”

The Regional Secretary also stated that the scheme for decommissioning fishing vessels under the application of "de minimis" aid "will continue in 2020 with the introduction of some amendments to the criteria in force." Moreover, "the funds available for this year have been fully used" with the authorisation of 19 processes for cessation of activity.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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