Spain: The Spanish Aquaculture Business Association (APROMAR) participated in the 77th meeting of the National Advisory Committee for Marine Crops (JACUMAR), which coincides with the 11th meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Continental Crops (JACUCON).
The meeting, which was held on December 1, was chaired by General Secretary of Fisheries Andres Hermida, accompanied by Dori Morales, Director General of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Murcia Region, and the aquaculture and fisheries general director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment Ministry (MAPAMA), Jose Miguel Corvinos.
At the meeting, the Pluriannual Strategic Plan for Spanish Aquaculture 2014-2020 was followed up. In this sense, the strategic actions developed by each of the autonomous communities were presented as well as the strategic actions developed by MAPAMA.
APROMAR stressed the importance of monitoring the implementation of the actions contemplated in this plan and the verification of the achievement of its results in the times predicted. In this sense, the simplification, optimization and streamlining of administrative procedures should be the first goal.
The association considers that it is absolutely necessary to achieve the favourable involvement of public administration departments other than those that normally form part of JACUMAR-JACUCON, both state entities (General Directorate of Coasts, DG Merchant Marine and Hydrographic Confederations), but especially autonomous ones, where the main obstacle is the lack of understanding that the Environment secretariats show for aquaculture.
Therefore, APROMAR called on all the parties to work together to find solutions for coordination, training of officials on aquaculture and implementation of good practices in public management of environmental procedures on aquaculture.
While the association noted that it perceives substantial progress in the governance of aquaculture in many autonomies, it focused on the issues it considered that are not progressing as expected. In this sense, it denounced the absolute paralysis and discouragement to which the Government of the Canary Islands is leading aquaculture on the islands.
According to APROMAR, not only has the Regional Plan for the Management of Canarian Aquaculture not been approved (without which activity authorizations have been blocked), but the Canary Islands Government has not moved legislatively to adapt the regional legislation to the new Coast Act.
On the other hand, and recognizing that the Region of Murcia has been a leading player in the governance of aquaculture, aquaculture companies in this Region still have not solved their legitimate desire to grow substantially.
In this regard, APROMAR said that it was dissatisfied with the way in which several scientific studies of the IMIDA and the IEO are being carried out and implemented, and it stressed the urgency of integrating coastal environmental surveillance, that is to say, of aquaculture with other sectors that occupy and affect the environment.
Regarding the EMFF, APROMAR acknowledged that calls for proposals are finally being issued, but with a long delay, but it requested that non-initiation inspection visits be carried out with greater smoothness, as in some communities, such as Galicia, it is getting more and more difficult to perform them.
On the other hand, it stressed the importance that the Government of Spain should prioritize the promulgation of the new State Aquaculture Act.
Regarding the situation of the rainbow trout, it recognized the great value of having been able to circumvent the very unfortunate judgment for commercial production by the Supreme Court that declared the rainbow trout as an invasive alien species . But it insisted that the sentence continues to prevent the restocking of rivers and lakes with rainbow trout for the practice of sport fishing, which is a huge nuisance given the lack of invasive impact and the dire social and economic consequences that it is having.
It also called for work to stop the ban on private initiative, in much of the autonomous communities, of the common trout (Salmo trutta fario), which reserve this product for public initiative.
Another issue raised by APROMAR's representatives to the Secretary-General for Fisheries was the importance of prioritizing scant public subsidies for future activities such as aquaculture, as opposed to past activities such as shipbreaking.