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Ban on Octopus catches in 2010


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Representatives of the guilds of Camarinas, Muxia, Corcubion, Fisterra, Muros, Noia, Ribeira, Porto do Son and Portosin believe a biological shutdown of the octopus (Octopus vulgaris) fishery is necessary for four months in 2010 to spur stock recovery.

Given the alarming fall in registered octopus catch this year, the guilds elected to join together to petition the Council of Marine Affairs of the Xunta de Galicia to establish a temporary catch prohibition.

The decision was taken last weekend in Lira, Carnota, after verifying that their landings had fallen more than 50 per cent in spite of the two months of banned fishing this year.

For Manuel Martinez, president of the Galician Guilds Federation and the largest employer of Fisterra, the “situation is very worrisome.”

Galician leaders consider it essential to let the fishing-grounds rest for a minimum of four months between May and August, El Correo Gallego reports.

In any case, it would be possible to negotiate an alternative formula of “two months of biological shutdown and another two of banned fishing,” Martinez said.

In addition, the guilds between Portosin and Camarinas will request that octopus fishing vessels be authorised to work “within the lines,” that is, nearer the coast. They will also ask that the angler’s basket model for targeting octopus and velvet swimcrab be unified, and that present catch limits remain in effect.

Those requests will be submitted to the Galician government through the federations and guilds.

According to official numbers, octopus landings in Galician wholesale markets during week 37 totalled 21.85 tonnes, that is, 18 per cent more than in the previous week when 18.54 tonnes were unloaded.

In week 37, each kilogram of octopus fetched EUR 4.93; the same sold for EUR 5.19 the previous week.
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