Espada sales continue to break records

€7.683 million so far this year

espada processing centre

The value generated by espada (black scabbardfish) fishing continues to break records this year, states a note from the Regional Secretariat for Sea and Fisheries.

According to the latest available data, reported in detail in FN, until the end of last week, 1,644 tons of this fish were unloaded in ports and regional warehouses, which generated €7.683 million in the first sale. This is “a significant increase compared to the same period last year (€5.627 million) compared to practically the same volume of discharges: 1.684 tons”.

This amount, says the Secretariat, is already higher than that invoiced for the entirety of last year (€7.459 million), and the three previous years. In 2021, the value of espada unloaded reached €7.450 million; in 2020 it was €6.389 million and in 2019, the espada income was €7.450 million.

“It is necessary to go back to 2018, the year in which total sword sales reached €8.191 million , to find a period in which this year has not already been surpassed in terms of income. Even so, if this rate of captures and revenue continues, the 2018 value should be surpassed in the coming weeks states the Secretariat governed by Teófilo Cunha.
For him, these numbers are a source of satisfaction “because they reveal an appreciation of fishing that results in an increase in income for agents in the sector”. The government official highlights the social and economic importance of swordfish. “Not only for fishermen and shipowners but also for tourism, given the gastronomic relevance of espada.”

Espada fishing boat

Quota approaching, but espada fishing expected to continue

At this moment, the regional fleet has already reached around 76% of the annual espada quota allocated to the Region, which is 2,189 tons. At the beginning of September, the Regional Government requested from the General Directorate of Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services (DGRM), an increase of 241.1 tonnes of the quota for this year’s espada catch.

The Executive’s objective was to ensure that the regional espada fleet continues fishing until the end of the year, taking advantage of the strong demand that this fish is having in Madeira.

In 2022, for the first time, the sword quota was exhausted in November, but the Regional Secretariat for Sea and Fisheries managed to negotiate a reinforcement of 240 tons, which allowed fishing to resume after a notice of closure of fishing had been issued. This year, the request for reinforcement was made earlier, so that vessels can plan their fishing trips, crew rest times and maintenance work.

According to the rules of the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy, it is possible, whenever there is no history of infringements (such as overfishing), to request an increase of up to a maximum of 10% of the adjusted quota. The 241.1 tons that Madeira requested at the beginning of September, concludes the statement from the Secretariat of Sea and Fisheries.

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6 thoughts on “Espada sales continue to break records”

  1. Sounds like they’re trying to drive them to extinction as human beings have already done with many other species. As David Attenborough said, human beings are like a cancer.


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