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Horta ,  March 15, 2018

Government of the Azores satisfied with possibility of allocating Bluefin tuna quota to Outermost Regions from 2019

The Regional Secretary for Sea, Science and Technology welcomed today the European Commission's decision to allocate a quota for Bluefin tuna to fishers from European Outermost Regions, such as the Azores.
According to Gui Menezes, the decision took into account the "arguments presented by the Azores." It was taken following the meeting between the European Commission and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT); the latter being the fisheries management body in the Atlantic.
The Regional Secretary stressed that the Regional Government "has been defending with the European Commission the increase of the Bluefin tuna quota allocated to Portugal so that it may be distributed to the fleet using and pole-and-line fishing, such as the case of the Azores."
Gui Menezes regretted that, over the last years, the national quota available for Bluefin tuna has been fully absorbed by the fleet in the South of Portugal, "making it impossible for the regional tuna fleet to catch this species."
The Secretary for the Sea also pointed out that, according to the Scientific Council of ICCAT, there has been a "sharp increase" in the Bluefin tuna stocks in the North Atlantic.
Since 2007, the Azores, like other ORs, have seen the sharp reduction of their fishing possibilities due to the decline of stocks in the Atlantic. They are only authorised to fish Bluefin tuna as bycatch, i.e., each vessel cannot load more than 5% of the total volume caught per tide.
The European Commission's proposal provides that, starting next year, the undistributed European quota for Bluefin tuna, estimated to be 87 tonnes in 2019 and 100 tonnes in 2020, will be distributed among the Member States' traditional fleets of the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Greek islands.
This decision will have to be validated at the next annual meeting of ICCAT that will be held in Croatia in November. Currently, the allocation of the quota for this species between regions will be discussed at European level.


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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