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Strong Albacore Catches Along Irish Coast Spain, September 16, 13

Spanish tuna vessels have taken to Irish coastal waters to take full advantage of the available albacore catch. Yields from the region are expected to remain strong until at least the end of October.

Ships usually fishing in the coastal region of Gipuzkoa, Spain are hopeful that the Irish waters have the potential to supply them with enough albacore to repeat high catches of last year and offset their ever-rising fuel cost.
An estimated 6,362 tons of albacore from the Irish coast was landed in Spanish ports in 2012, which was a record number in five years. This figure was a significant 45 percent hike from 2011.
But Spanish tuna fishermen are in competition with the French and Irish in these waters, and have concerns that these nation’s fleets are using fishing gear that border on illegality. Spain sees this as unfair competition.
The Spanish fleet use traditional methods to capture the albacore, whereas they are suspicious of French and Irish vessels using trawls which affect the balance of the stocks. Secretary of the fleet of Gipuzkoa, Garmendia said: “We have no legal weapons to fight them, we can only ask for fair competition.”
The Spanish tuna industry regrets that the Basque government cannot intervene on their behalf at European level because “their powers are very limited” said Garmendia. It was outlined however, that they prefer not to show pessimism until the campaign is completely closed.