In a letter sent ahead of the October Fisheries Council meeting, SAR and FISH have made a final call on EU Fisheries Ministers to oppose all proposals that allow aid for new builds, modernisation and/or engine replacements, decommissioning and temporary cessation.

In a letter sent ahead of the October Fisheries Council meeting, SAR and FISH have made a final call on EU Fisheries Ministers to oppose all proposals that allow aid for new builds, modernisation and/or engine replacements, decommissioning and temporary cessation.

The Ministers are expected to reach an agreement on the proposed European Maritime and Fisheries Fund at their Council meeting taking place on 22-23 October.

Funding for the building of new vessels increases the overcapacity of European fleets, with detrimental effects on the resources and sector profitability. It was therefore abolished under the current European Fisheries Fund.

Modernisation, engine replacements and temporary cessation of fishing activities also contribute to the increase or maintenance of the current overcapacity. Even if modernising or replacing old engines is conditional upon making them equally or less powerful – which is very difficult to control and enforce – it will not necessarily translate into a reduction of the vessel’s ability to catch fish. According to the European Court of Auditors, vessels equipped with “fuel efficient” engines work at reduced operating costs and may therefore increase their fishing effort by spending more hours at sea.

Europe is currently trying to come to terms with a financial crisis, and in such circumstances the EU cannot afford to spend money on harmful subsidies exacerbating existing problems, the Ministers were told. Public funds must be used for the public good, underpinning the conservation and management efforts set out in the CFP, including for data collection, control and enforcement measures.

The Fisheries Ministers are also expected to adopt the 2013 TACs and quota for the Baltic Sea. FISH and SAR asked the Ministers to support the Commission proposal where it follows the scientific advice given by ICES. For salmon and the western Baltic cod stock, the Commission proposal did not follow scientific advice and for these stocks the groups demanded more restrictive fishing limits.

To read the accompanying Annexes to the letter


To read the accompanying Annexes to the letter:

click here

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