Winter storms off Spain are believed to have caused structural breaks and escapes of fish.

€16m compensation for storm-damaged fish farms

Spanish insurance company Agroseguro has paid out €16.27 million in compensation to aquaculture companies for damage caused by winter storms.

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The insurer said it the worst winter for aquaculture since the insurance policies were launched in the late 1990s.

During December, several storms struck the east of Spain, causing damage to fish farms along the entire coast from Castellón to San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia).

In January, an anticyclone over Europe, along with low pressure in the Mediterranean region, brought cold air from the continent to the Valencian region. In turn, humid air triggered heavy rain and strong winds that gave rise to a maritime storm, especially on 21 and 22 January.

And during the months of January and February, the Canary Islands suffered intense storms, winds and strong currents, which affected mainly the easternmost islands.

A spokesman for the company said: "In all cases, there were structural breaks and escapes of the fish. In these sort of situations, aquaculture insurance becomes the most adequate coverage mechanism.”

In this case, the insured companies have been able to benefit from indemnities that have exceeded €16 million in total.