OPAGAC, the Organization of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezers, is making changes in its fishing system with the objective of making fishing a responsible, sustainable industry that responds to the market’s concerns. The organisation is promoting a standard that fully describes the minimum level needed for a responsible fishery.
Nobody doubts that the Spanish fishery and aquaculture sector is at the cutting edge, of every part of the value chain. The figures confirm it. Spain is the biggest producer in terms of both capture fisheries and aquaculture in the European Union, the second biggest European consumer, and holds the sixth place in the world.
The Spanish aquaculture sector is developing a set of guidelines for best practice during fish slaughter. While fish welfare will be the focal point the document also addresses worker safety, food safety, and final product quality.
The trade liberalisation undertaken by the European Union in the last years has allowed preferential access to the EU market for major competitors of the European canning industry, whose share of the EU market has been increasing.
ANFACO started as the Union of Canning Manufacturers of the Vigo estuary in 1904. It grew to include all canning companies in Galicia some years later and today ANFACO-CECOPESCA, as it is officially called following a merger, has 240 members covering fish processors, equipment manufacturers and other suppliers from all over Spain, as well as some international members.
Consumption of fish in Spain continues to decline, as reported by “La Alimentación en España 2015”, a study by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA). A trade association, AECOC/GS 1 Spain, is among those trying to do something about it.
The General Directorate for Fisheries Management in the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment is responsible among other things for inspection and control, structural, and market policies. Led by Carlos María Larrañaga, the directorate plays a key role in the fight against IUU fishing, the certification of fisheries as well as the organisation of the market.
The Spanish operational programme for fisheries and aquaculture envisages a three-fold increase in aquaculture activities by 2023 leading to higher production, but also increased employment and better protection of the environment. Andrés Hermida Trastoy, the General Secretary for Fisheries in the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment mentions here, among other points, some of the steps the ministry is taking to achieve this.