site.btaDeputy Agriculture Minister: Interests of Bulgarian Fishermen Are Also Economic Interests of Our Country
The Executive Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture (EAFA), the Ministry of Agriculture and other Bulgarian competent ministries and authorities have not yet received an official document on the detention of the three Bulgarian vessels. This is the reason for the current waiting situation. This is what Deputy Agriculture Minister Georgi Sabev said on Monday during a briefing after a meeting with all parties involved on the current topic of the detained Bulgarian fishermen a few days ago in Romania.
Sabev said that they have unofficial information in the form of a reply, according to which the owners of the Bulgarian vessels have been charged, but there is no reference to the reason for the detention.
He explained that the Bulgarian vessels were fishing in a water area that is a Community water area - of the entire European Union. In his words, they have the right to fish other than the quota stocks. At the level of the European Union, there is a quota for the Black Sea and a quantity limit only for turbot and sprat. Vessels from EU countries can fish other fish species freely.
The situation of Bulgarian fishing vessels being detained in this place is not new, Sabev reminded. There was a similar case in 2011, when a Bulgarian fishing vessel was illegally detained in Romania. This was confirmed by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg a few months ago, he added.
The deputy agriculture minister also said that they have information about detained raw material - fish stocks, and inventory, but the good news is that the captains and fishermen are already in Bulgaria. They also participated in the meeting at the ministry today.
"The interests of Bulgarian fishermen are also the economic interests of our country," Sabev stressed. He pointed out that the information they have is that 5 Bulgarian vessels have been checked, 3 of which have been detained. There were turbot and Black Sea shark on them.
According to Sabev, no official document has been provided to the Bulgarian inspectors from the Agency, who were also involved in the inspection of the three fishing vessels. It was only available in Romanian and was translated orally at the time, with ambiguities. "The Bulgarian inspectors have reflected this in the opinion, but they have not been provided with such a document," he explained.
"We have been working on this incident since it occurred. We are waiting for a 7-day period according to Romanian legislation to receive the necessary documents, if not we will send a request again," said EAFA executive director Vanya Stamatova.