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The Dutch fishing industry has welcomed the new coalition government’s commitment to the sector under the “Hope, Courage and Pride” Agreement

In a significant move for the Dutch fishing sector, the new coalition government comprising PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB has presented its coalition agreement under the title “Hope, Courage and Pride.”

This agreement marks a strategic shift, reinstating fisheries into the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, which will now be known as the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Nature (LVVN). This renaming signifies the return of fisheries to the ministry after a 21-year absence.

 

Fishermen No Longer Ignored

The centre-right coalition is taking a markedly different path from the previous cabinet. “By making fisheries a full part of the ministry again, fishermen will no longer be ignored,” said BBB party leader Caroline van der Plas. The coalition aims to ensure a sustainable future for farmers, gardeners, and fishermen, emphasiSing their importance to food supply and Dutch cultural heritage.

 

Fishermen’s Vital Role in Food Supply

The coalition agreement underscores the essential role of fishermen, farmers, and gardeners in the Dutch food supply and cultural landscape. “Our farmers, gardeners, and fishermen must be cherished because they are crucial for our food supply and are an inseparable part of our Dutch culture,” the agreement states. The coalition pledges maximum support to the fishing sector to ensure the survival and future-proofing of the Dutch fishing fleet.

Support for Innovations and Sustainable Fishing

The coalition expresses pride in Dutch fishermen and commits to ensuring they can earn a good living. The agreement outlines support for innovations, safety, and the development of sustainable fishing techniques. It also advocates for the reinstatement of pulse fishing in Europe and improved access to fishing grounds in the North Sea, prioritiSing areas for bottom and shrimp fishing.

 

Energy Policy and Fishing Balance

In energy policy, the coalition aims to reduce dependency by promoting sustainable energy production. Plans include keeping the Borssele nuclear power plant open, constructing two additional nuclear power plants, and exploring the feasibility of smaller power stations. The coalition also supports scaling up gas extraction in the North Sea and prioritiSing offshore wind turbine placement, ensuring a balance with fishing interests.

 

Positive Reception from Fishing Community

Johan K. Nooitgedagt, Chairman of the Dutch Fishermen’s Union, welcomed the agreement: “It is great news that these four political parties have formulated together. I am sure that many fishermen will regain the feeling that they are allowed to be there. There was good speech and good listening. Also, a huge thank you to the informants because this was clearly a ‘tough job’.”

Nooitgedagt stressed the importance of continued efforts: “Of course, we are not there yet, but a good foundation has been laid and as a fishing sector, we now have to get it right together. Thank you to everyone who helped get to this point. Finally, don’t forget to cast your fisheries EU vote on Thursday, June 6, because that is just as important.”

The Dutch fishing community is optimistic about the future, buoyed by the new government’s commitment to addressing their needs and challenges.

 

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