European Commission Closes Bluefin Tuna Fishery to Spain’s Large Trawlers

10 June 2011: Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, closed the bluefin tuna fishery in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean to purse seiners (large trawlers) from Spain, due to the exhaustion of Spain's fishing quota. The closure to Spain took effect on 10 June 2011. The bluefin tuna fishing season for large trawlers in this fishery runs from 15 May-15 June.

According to the European Commission, Spain was informed of the decision, confirmed its cessation of fishing authorizations and called its purse seiners back to port on 9 June 2011. Vessels from six EU member States (France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus), in addition to Spain, are active in this fishery. The EU's overall quota is 5,756 tons for the 2011 season, reduced from 7,087 last year, of which over half is caught by purse seiners. [EU Press Release]