The Operational Fisheries Fleet Census is a key element in maritime fisheries management. Therefore, this census must contain the relationship of Spanish-flagged vessels that may carry out fishing activity.

In this sense, any vessel not included in that census, which is in a situation of “definitive reduction” or provisional leave therein or that has lost its operation, may not engage in fishing activity.

Importance of the fisheries fleet census

First of all, it is important to note that the census of the fishing fleet is an essential instrument by which the General Administration of the State registers the vessels that are part of the Spanish fishing fleet, and which contains the data relating to its technical and structural characteristics and its shipowners and owners.

Such information is crucial in order to be able to carry out a thorough check and an accurate finding of the fishing effort of the national fleet, as required by Community and national legislation contained in various rules.

Thus, in the General Register of the fishing fleet you can find a page on which to consult this census.

Why is fisheries capacity management important?

As we talked to you in a previous subsequent one about fishing TACs, or what is the same, the total allowable catch, it is also important to mention the importance of fisheries capacity management.

The aim of managing fishing capacity is therefore intended to maintain a stable and lasting balance between fleet capacity and fishing opportunities. To this end, EU countries must report this balance annually in accordance with the guidelines developed by the European Commission.

On the other hand, each EU country has a fleet capacity cap set in kilowatts (kW) and gross tonning (GT). New fishing vessels can only be added to the fleet if the same capacity has been previously removed in kW and GT. With this entry and exit system the capacity of the European fleet cannot grow.

In addition, the European Commission maintains a register of the EU fleet which collects the necessary information on ships sent periodically by Member States.

You can check here the last current census fishing fleet.

Photo by Jorge Cámara [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons