Spanish fishing fleets strike over oil prices

Spain’s main fishing fleet give 100% support to strike in fishing sector

According to Javier Garat, the General Secretary of the Spanish Fishing Confederation (Cepesca) nearly 100% of the Spanish fleet, which currently consists of 13,000 boats, have given their backing to a strike.

Given the widespread nature of Spain’s fishing fleet Cepesca has organised an assembly to obtain information on which boats are striking. For example, in Barcelona a part of the fleet has gone out to fish. Nevertheless Garat believes that the decision of the Federation of Catalan Fishing boats call to ignore the call to strike is due to the fact that the organization is waiting to see what happens in the rest of the country.

In Andalucia, some of the fishermen that backed the strikes last week have gone back to work, as in Almeria and Huelva, although part of their fishing fleets have remained in port. The vice secretary of the Federation of Fishermen, Nicloás Fernández, explained that they will be meeting this week to analyze the results of the strike and possible future action.

Garat, has calculated that support for the strike ‘is going to be massive’ during the next two weeks when the rest of the national fleet begin taking part in the indefinite strike called for last Friday to protest against rising fuel costs.
On the other hand, Garat has confirmed that the sector has still not received a reply from the Government to help it out of the present crisis.

However, the Secretary of the National Association of Fish Wholesale Purchasers, Manuel Pablos, said that up to now there was ‘total normality’ and that the protests had not had any significant impact on fish supplies up to now.

He said he considered it ‘very difficult’ for supplies to dry up in a market like that of Madrid, the first in the world in variety of fish available despite similar protests in other countries.

Italia and Portugal continue this week with parts of their fishing fleets on strike in addition to France where after two weeks on strike some fishing fleets have returned to sea. Meanwhile in the UK fishermen have organised a protest to take place in central London tomorrow.

Cepesca has indicated that it is working with French organisations in order to carry out coordinated action in the heart of the EU.