The new regulatory framework combines existing management tools with new ones, making the former more flexible. Such a combination will help the Spanish fishing fleet adapt to the modern requirements of the sector.
Recognising the need for a single registry of the national fishing fleet, the Spanish government’s Council of Ministers recently approved a royal decree regulating, for the first time, the structure of the General Registry of the Fishing Fleet. Until now, autonomous communities shared with the national Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the rights and responsibilities concerning vessel registration, leading to inefficiency. An effective single registry of vessels is a key element in fisheries management.
Each EU nation’s fishing capacity is regulated by the EU Common Fishery Policy, and nations must ensure their own fishing capacity conforms to the rules. Fishing vessel replacement — and entry of new vessels — must match CFP obligations. The new royal decree makes it easier to ensure Spain’s fleet is properly managed. In recent years, some concerns have emerged that make fleet management more challenging, including environmental impacts of fishing and energy efficiency of vessels. By consolidating vessel management into one regulatory process the government intends that the royal decree will help managers and the industry alike.