A French court has examined the request against the 2017 bluefin tuna quota allocation order brought by small businesses
The Montpellier administrative court examined, on Thursday, June 17, the request against the 2017 bluefin tuna quota allocation order brought by small businesses.
In 2018, the Syndicat des petits métiers d’Occitanie (SPMO) requested the annulment of the ministerial decree which organized the distribution of the national bluefin tuna quota between the purse seiners segment and that of small coastal trades. “This file is important, because if it affects part of the fishery, it also concerns the whole sector”, underlined the public rapporteur, who almost took up the arguments defended by the SPMO, accompanied in this recourse by other organizations in the sector.
To calculate the distributions, the State must take into account three components: fishing history – which the SPMO does not dispute – but also, according to article R921-35 of the rural and maritime fishing code , “l ‘market orientation’ as well as ‘socio-economic balances’ .
However, these two criteria would not have been taken into account, unlike European requirements which push in the same direction. “Since 2012, the general quota of France has been multiplied by eight while that allocated to small trades as a whole has been multiplied by three” , also pleaded the lawyer of the SPMO. It highlights “intergenerational inequality” for new entrants and the competitive disadvantage for small businesses.
The judgment, reserved, must be made public within three weeks.