Acuinuga. Acuicultura y Nutrición de Galicia


08-04-16 |

Spain remains different

In March 2016 the Spanish Supreme Court surprised us with a bizarre sentence repealing the exclusion from the Spanish catalogue of invasive alien species of various animals with great economic importance, including the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). These species were excluded from this catalogue in 2013 by the Spanish government, on the basis of their economic, food or recreational importance. Now the Court, resolving upon a judicial demand brought up by several environmental associations, declares this exclusion invalid, leading to "the general prohibition of possession, transportation, traffic and trade in live or dead rainbow trout, their remains or seeds, including foreign trade."

When a decision affecting a species of such economic importance is taken on the basis of a report by a zoology  professor in a Spanish university, all the contradictions, the isolationism, bias and organizational chaos embedded in the  Spanish legal system, and indeed within the legislative framework of the European Union, become dramatically evident. After all the rainbow trout has been with us for over a hundred years, is present in almost all European states,  concentrates multiple interests and receives huge financial resources from public and private institutions alike.

In a country with 20% unemployment and 50% youth unemployment, it would seem logical to expect some sensitivity in the administration of a productive sector that employs thousands of people in hundreds of family businesses, resulting in a healthy product for general consumption with great value for money, placing it within reach of the humblest consumers, as well as the school menus. Unfortunately this did not deserve the slightest consideration by the honorable magistrates, concerned only with the "serious threats to native species, habitats or ecosystems, the agronomy or economic resources associated with the use of natural heritage". The genetic tools available for the reproductive containment of this species, which have been proven efficient to the point of avoiding the establishment of consolidated populations of rainbow trout in our rivers in spite of the long time passed since its introduction, were not considered either.

At this point perhaps it might be useful if the Spanish Supreme Court decided whether or not the Homo sapiens should be included in the aforementioned catalogue, a central issue of such disquisitions where animal rights prevail over human rights, among which undoubtedly the right to eat ranks high. And yet, in the current European bureaucracy, focused on the overproduction of laws and regulations taking precedence over people's needs, it never ceases to surprise us how presumably intelligent individuals plead obedience to laws stating one thing on Monday and exactly the opposite on Tuesday. Those who do not enjoy the privilege of feeding off the state budget can only work, obediently pay our taxes and protest these absurdities, which demonstrate that Spain, unfortunately, remains different.