The Commissioner for fisheries Franz Fischler has presented the proposed reforms for the Common Fisheries Policy to the Spanish government in an effort to convince it that urgent changes are needed if Europe is to protect its fish stocks.
The reforms are proving unpopular because they recommend speedy and large cuts in the size of the EU fishing fleet.
In Spain, the news that money will be made available to reduce the number of people in the industry has been met with anger.
The Commission, by insisting on the reforms, hopes to pre-empt problems in the future and maintain steady employment in the industry. The proposals would seem to point to a 60% reduction in the total EU fishing fleet.
Conversely, the Irish government is encouraging young skippers to buy their own vessels with the help of a E6m investment fund. The first six skippers have been selected to benefit from the scheme wich will give them a modern fishing vessel.
Fishermen's associations will be watching the scheme closely to see how many vessels are removed from service for every modern one that enters service.