Anglers from Spain are prohibited this year, as are their commercial fishing vessels, from landing Atlantic blue marlin because the nation’s commercial fishing vessels exceeded their 2015 blue marlin quota. Spain has never designated a portion of its blue marlin quota for its sportfishing industry, but allows that industry to be penalized for commercial overfishing.
Spain further disregards its sportfishing industry by failing to collect and report landings data for recreationally caught marlin to all levels of government.
Reporting landings data establishes a record of the amount of blue marlin a nation’s sportfishing industry depends upon to operate and from which its government can negotiate for quota share. Spain, as a Member of the European Union (EC), fights tenaciously each year for quota share for its commercial fishing fleets, but does nothing for quota share specific for its sportfishing industry. No national voice for its sportfishing industry, but penalties for anglers if its commercial fishing industry exceeds its quota.
If members of the sportfishing industry (fleets, clubs, businesses, tournaments) organized and established an informed voice for their interest locally, nationally and on international negotiating delegations, it could prove to be very beneficial. No voice equals non-recognition by regulators; landings data substantiates an industry’s needs.
Photo courtesy of Antonio Amaral