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Endure Possibilities of Comanagement in the European Union Fisheries: The Case of Cantabrian Sea Coastal and Artisan Fleet

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Astorkiza, Kepa; del Valle, Ikerne; Astorkiza, Immaculada
Conference: Constituting the Commons: Crafting Sustainable Commons in the New Millennium, the Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Conf. Date: May 31-June 4
Date: 2000
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2115
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Europe
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
artisanal fishing
resource management
fishing vessels
institutional analysis
Abstract: "The artisan fleet takes the greater part of its catches in the territorial waters of individual countries, that is, outside the bounds of European Union regulations. These waters lie between the continental shelf and the bank, which, in the Cantabrian, consists of only a very narrow band. "These conditions place this sub-sector in a singular situation, since, by not sharing management tasks under the joint sovereignty of the EU and the State, they are left in the position of the cofradias as a whole before entry into the EU, when regulatory tasks were shared between the state fishing authority at its various levels, (central State administration, and Autonomous regional fishing administration) and the cofradias themselves. Although they are bound by EU legislation as far as marketing is concerned, when it comes to regulations on fishing methods they have greater normative capacity and therefore more autonomy. The EU has no jurisdiction over the area in question and the sharing of responsibilities between the State administration and the cofradias makes for greater flexibility. One of the clauses in EEC Regulation 3760/92 from the Council of 20th December, proposes a change in conditions for access from the year 2002 onwards. "Although, as this text from the year 1992 shows, there exists no prejudgement regarding future restrictive rulings nor any indication of direction in which changes will lead, in recent times proposals have been discussed in favour of opening the 12 mile limit to the free access of fleets belonging to the EU, whether these be made up of artisan or semi-industrial vessels. Obviously, a move of this nature would bring about a profound crisis in the management model that has been functioning up to now. It would cause the break-up of the delicate balance, which has been built up over the years, at least in the case of fisheries that have been regulated through the co-management methods of the fishing administrations and the cofradias. If these organisations are hoped to survive, a conversion to free access will be a severe blow to European fleets working within the 12-mile limit. "Something similar has occured with commercialization aspects because UE legislation asks Producers Organizations for fish sales and they are large agrupations of productors. It must be remembered, however, that the reasoning behind the historical functioning of the cofradias evolves at local level in each port, with auctions taking place in the port fish markets and with a local view also with local regard to pricing mechanisms and ways of defending them. The Producers Organizations, meanwhile, function along lines decided at the provincial level at the least. This has led, in certain cases, to various types of conflict: between ports, between the users of different fishing techniques and some arising from other causes. This situation has held back the creation of Producers Organizations while leading some sectors of the cofradias to create their own Producers Organizations, heedless of joint decisions, thereby giving rise to further conflict and break-ups. The application of the CFP (common fishery policy) has been a trying test for the resilience of these institutions in some aspects of their functioning and, therefore, casts some shadows over their future."

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