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Less Raw Material For Spanish Tuna Canneries

The Galician fishing fleet is not directly affected by the lack of an agreement with Gabon. However, this is not the case for the fishermen on board these vessels and, most especially, for the production plants that are processing their catches, according to an article in La Voz de Galicia.

“Anything that hurts the fleet will create problems in obtaining raw material for the tuna business, which is the most important industry in the European Union and the second strongest worldwide,” said Juan Manuel Vieites, secretary general of ANFACO (Spanish National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Seafood).

The Atlantic is one of the most important oceans for the tuna industry and is where most of the tuna fishing fleets from EU countries are operating. Although the total of vessels fishing in the Indian Ocean may outnumber that of the Atlantic, they are carrying flags from other non-EU countries.

In this sense, Vieites said that the lack of an agreement with a country such as Gabon could produce distortions in the market and affect the value of the product. “Tuna is a sensitive and scarce product, with a global production of  4.5 million tons," he said, giving an idea what the supply problems the industry is facing. “There is less tuna reaching Galician ports, while canneries need more raw material, both whole tuna as frozen pre-cooked tuna loins.”

Therefore, ANFACO has requested (amongst the quotas of the fisheries Common Organization of Markets) that for the next three years Spain be permitted to import 30,000 tons of frozen tuna at a lower tariff than 6%, from countries that do not have agreements with the EU.