Portugal - Fishing

Three main fields of activity make up the Portuguese fishing enterprise: coastal fishing, with sardines as the most important catch; trawl fishing on the high seas; and cod fishing on the Grand Banks, off Newfoundland. At the beginning of 1996, the Portuguese fishing fleet consisted of 12,317 vessels with 131,123 GRT. National fish landings totaled 116,875 tons in 2001. Dominant species are sardines, mackerel, and octopus. These three species accounted for nearly half the landings. Virtually all the total catch is sold fresh, but small amounts of sardines and octopus are frozen. The total catch fell from 375,413 tons in 1973 to 247,596 tons in 1983 but increased to 325,349 tons in 1991. The average annual catch during 1990–94 was 295,007 tons and 318,600 tons during 1995–99. The annual catch declined in 1995 because Portugal was affected by internationally-set limits (Total Allowable Catches) that restrict fishing access for certain species in the international waters of the North Atlantic and by EU fishing quotas. The fishing potential has also been affected by a reduction in the national fleet in association with EU fleet reduction incentives. The Portuguese fishing fleet was reduced by 40% during 1990–2000.

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