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Hot Debate Expected In Euroatun Meeting Over Imports Of Cooked Loins

The Spanish tuna fleet owners and canners confront each other’s view at the EU summit of Euroatún.
The Spanish National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Seafood (ANFACO) wants 30,000 tons of frozen pre-cooked tuna loins imported duty free. The organization of Spanish canners and major employers in the tuna sector agreed to ask this from the European Commission (EC) for the period 2013-2015, which has attracted criticism from the owners of the Spanish tuna fishing fleet.
Juan Manuel Vieites, ANFACO’s secretary general, motivated the organization’s position as being the result of the obligation to maintain 12,000 direct jobs. While he said he understands that each party defends its own position and he also says to be very happy with the good results achieved by the fleet, however, he indicated, “this has only generated 300 direct jobs in Spain.” He said that it seems inappropriate that the canners can only seek supply of raw materials exclusively from the fleet, while boatowners  have the option to sell their catch wherever they want, even to foreign competitors.

For ANFACO, the position of the tuna boatowners is not new, because they have been opposing to increasing the quota for years, even when ANFACO asked for 1,000 tons,  Vieites said; “and also now that we ask the same as the rest of the European tuna canning  industry and is actually  only half of what we really need.”
Tuna boatowners and tuna canners have the opportunity to confront their views at the Euroatún meeting held in Madrid.
Vieites said he did not expect excessive strain during the meeting, “because it’s not a surprise to anyone the difference of opinion on this issue."
The meeting addresses issues such as reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, the negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the trade agreements reached with third countries. Another issue at the meeting is to plan a 2012 strategy that will enlighten the EC about the importance of the measures to take when it negotiates agreements with third countries, as the EC needs to first consider  the “viability and competitiveness” of the Community’s  tuna industry.