President of the fishermen's federation in the Balearics, Domingo Bonnin, speaking to the media on Wednesday. | Jaume Morey

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The president of the federation of fishermen's associations in the Balearics, Domingo Bonnin, has described a Spanish government announcement on Wednesday as "a pleasant surprise".

The government will next week approve specific measures to limit the impact of rising diesel prices on fishermen's operating costs. This was agreed at a Wednesday meeting between the minister of agriculture, fisheries and food, Luis Planas, and fishermen's representatives.

A majority of fishermen in the Balearics have stayed in port since Monday. They will all now return to work, the government's announcement having exceeded what had been hoped for.

The national ministry says that it will be looking at measures such as the temporary elimination of taxes at state ports. In the Balearics, these are Palma, Alcudia, Mahon, Ibiza and La Savina. The Balearic government has meanwhile announced that it will be suspending taxes at ports that are its responsibility.

In addition, the Spanish government will be creating new lines of credit of up to 30,000 euros at less than one per cent interest.

During the three days of stoppage in the Balearics, the federation estimates that catches worth around 450,000 euros have been lost.