The Secretary General for Fisheries, Ms. Alicia Villauriz Iglesias, and the representatives of the main Fishing Producers Organisations of the surface longline sector (OPP-7, OPP-8, OPP-49 and OPPC-3), as well as the National Association of Marketing and Processing Companies of Highly Migratory Species (ANECTEAM, Spanish acronyms), have signed a framework agreement to collaborate in the implementation of the FIP BLUES Project, aimed at improving the surface longline fishery.

FIP Blues is the first worldwide initiative aimed at achieving international recognition of the sustainable and responsible exploitation of two of the main species targeted by the surface longline fleet; swordfish and blue shark. To this end, the Project aims to improve scientific knowledge of the fishery through different actions, reinforcing its collaboration with the scientific bodies of all the Regional Fisheries Organisations, favouring data collection, improving on-board observer coverage and developing and implementing the most appropriate technical mitigation measures on fishing vessels.

With the signing of this agreement, the General Secretariat for Fisheries undertakes to provide its institutional support to the fishing organisations for the development of the different actions to be carried out, favouring the appropriate dissemination and communication of the efforts of this fleet and industry with regard to the conservation of marine ecosystems. Similarly, the General Secretariat for Fisheries will also validate and report on the observer coverage on board the vessels included in the work plan, as well as the information collected by them.

This Agreement, signed for an initial duration of 4 years, involves four of the main national Fish Producers’ Organisations, representing 90% of the European Union catches, as well as ANECTEAM, representing 80% of the supply chain of these products at European level.