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Ponta Delgada ,  June 27, 2018

Tuna seiners over 20 metres to have catch limit of bigeye tuna set at 25 tonnes for every four-day period

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology announced in Ponta Delgada that, from Monday, July 2, tuna seiners operating in the Region will have a maximum catch limit of bigeye tuna set at 25 tonnes for every four-day period.
Gui Menezes pointed out that the Regional Government, in conjunction with APASA - Association of Tuna Producers and Similar Species and the Azores Fisheries Federation, "has decided that larger vessels equipped with refrigerated systems will be authorised to unload 25 tonnes of bigeye tuna every four days, starting next Monday."
The Regional Secretary spoke to journalists on the sidelines of a visit to the Refrigerator Storage Unit in Ponta Delgada, stressing that the unloading of fish "cannot exceed 20% of the smallest size of bigeye tuna specimens," which cannot weigh less than 10 kilos.
"There was a time when vessels brought larger quantities [bigeye tuna] and were causing some disturbance in the market," the government official said, adding that the "quality of the fish was not what was intended to be."
In view of the volume of bigeye tuna catches registered in the Region, the Government will publish Thursday, June 28, an ordinance regulating fishing activities carried out by tuna seiners with the aim of "maximising bigeye tuna catches in the Azores until we reach the quota limit."
Gui Menezes pointed out that "Portugal is close to the quota limit available bigeye tuna catches," adding that 3,000 tonnes have been registered so far, which corresponds to 82% of the stipulated quota.
"Finally, it is a good year for tuna, after a few years of poor catches," said the government official. In addition to bigeye tuna, "bonito tuna is already being spotted [in Azorean waters]."
"It is expected that regional canneries will begin processing bonito tuna in coming months," said the government official.
Gui Menezes pointed out that Ponta Delgada Refrigerator Storage Unit is now "being tested to its fullest capacity," adding that this infrastructure has "excellent conditions for storing tuna."
The Regional Secretary also recalled that the Government of the Azores will carry out interventions the refrigerators storage units in Madalena (Pico Island) and Horta (Faial Island).
As for the works in the Refrigerator Storage Unit of Horta, the government official stated that "the project is expected to be completed by July and its revision will take place in August so that the public tender procedures may begin in September."
Asked about the alleged breach of the 15-mile law by tuna seiners off Santa Maria, Gui Menezes said that the "vessels are equipped with MONICAP, a system that allows satellite monitoring and, so far, no infringement has not been recorded."


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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