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The campaign’s bluefin tuna , that will continue throughout this month, begins with controversy in the purpose of the allocation of capacity of introduction of bluefin tuna in farms conducted by the General Secretariat of Fishing. A decision that broke the unanimity of other years and causes one of the largest Spanish producers, Balfegó , consider taking legal action. The company, with headquarters in L’ Ametlla de Mar (Tarragona) and in the last fiscal year (1 may to 30 April) had a turnover of 47 million euros, explains that the total capacity of fattening of bluefin tuna in the aquaculture facilities (or farms) is situated since 2008 in the 6.300 tonnes for Spain , although the last year has been introduced only 5.713 tons of this disputed class of tuna.

In this sense, they criticize from this company, that of the 587 tons of difference have been assigned to “only” 60 tons, leaving the other 527 available to the rest of operators. According to their estimates, after having closed his particular campaign on the 2nd of June, this year will introduce on their farms, 190 tons a total share of fishing 2.440 tonnes, of which 2,250 tonnes will enter in their facilities. That is to say, estimates its director-general Juan Serrano, may not enter in full desescalada and with the relative re-opening of the Horeca Channel, around 4 million .

Views of one of the farms where they are fattened tuna fish alive – BALFEGÓ

“Always have more than enough capacity, now that the deplete, they have to find something legal, fair and proportionate”, says Serrano, who believes that you should apply “by analogy” the article 29 of the Law on Marine Fishery of the State. This precept states that when there is an increase or an increase of the “fishing opportunities” these are applied “proportionately” to maintain the “same relative position” of each vessel or group of vessels.

questions from the ABC, the General Secretariat of Fisheries responds that “the article 29 is not applicable to the input possibilities in farms” of the red tuna. In the opinion of this agency, the capabilities of introduction there are possibilities of fishing and “these limitations on entry have not suffered any variation, compared to previous years”. In this regard, Serrano points out that “this is the first time” that you have to apply one criterion in the deal and that this has been an 8% reduction in fee assigned to it.

From the department directed by Alicia Villauriz highlight that, after knowing the “specific needs” of operators, it sent a proposal to the European Commission that amounted to 6.850 tons. is “The affected sector was informed at all times of these efforts” , say from the General Secretariat of Fishing. Movements which ended in the maintenance of the capacities of entry on farms in the 6.300 tonnes, far behind what is requested by the sector.


The result? From the Ministry argue that they had to apply “the reduction of 8% of each installation and to allow agreements between facilities to encourage the setting with the highest efficiency”. A operating, insuring, it has been a “proportional to the needs justified by the companies”. These same official sources added that such was the case in previous years, and that “never” has been taken as a criterion, the catches of the previous year, as proposed from Balfegó.

In any case, since this agency that is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, added that the limit to the entries of bluefin tuna into the farms – set by Brussels in 6.300 tons- already exceeds the total of the fishing quota allocated to Spain for this species (6.100 tonnes) . Consulted other operators in the sector, since the Group Ricardo Fuentes declined to assess “the criticism that you are making a private company to the Administration for the fishing quotas”. In particular, it is limited to add that this company is limited “to comply with the decisions that have been adopted the Secretary-General of Fishing on this asuto”.

The leadership of Malta

On all of the above, Serrano assures miss that has assembled the industry “in time to discuss it” and believe that Spain has “caught the bull” in this case. In particular, he believes that “it has not been negotiated with time” with other european countries such as Greece to ask to borrow part of your fee.

In particular, in relation to the bluefin tuna, a delicacy at the tables of chefs as well known as Martin Berasategui and japanese Hideki Matsuhiba for its many qualities (omega-3, fatty acids…) is split between a select group of countries led by Malta (8.786 tons), Spain (6.300 tonnes), Italy (3.764 tons) and Croatia (2.947 tons). .