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The CNPMEM has met with the Minister of Ecological Transition, and secured supports for fishermen affected by the Bay of Biscay closure

CNPMEM Secures Progress and Assurances from Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, Regarding Support Measures Implementation

Amidst the prolonged crisis following the fishing ban in the Bay of Biscay for a month and the unprecedented consequences it inflicts on the industry, the National Committee for Maritime Fisheries (CNPMEM) has obtained responses through its mobilisation.

Since January 22 and for one month, nearly 450 fishing vessels will remain docked following the ban on fishing in the Bay of Biscay to reduce accidental captures of dolphins.

During a visit to the CNPMEM offices and in front of industry representatives from across France, Christophe Béchu acknowledged the challenges faced by the sector, expressing “a willingness to avoid a form of ecological hypocrisy and apply the same words and terms to the agricultural sector and the fishing industry.”

The Minister provided clarifications on the compensation schedule for affected fishermen, with Commission validation of the scheme expected by 05 February. He committed to initiating the first payments at the beginning of March, ensuring the simplicity of the process, and instructing France AgriMer to address shipowners’ queries, issue certificates for dealings with banks, and expedite payments.

The Minister also confirmed the immediate application of the €0.13 per litre diesel discount with TotalÉnergies for all fishermen, retroactively effective from 01 January. He announced ongoing negotiations with other suppliers for the widespread implementation of the scheme.

“Today, we have made progress, but we remain mobilised and vigilant in ensuring their swift implementation. We did not want a courtesy visit while 450 vessels are stranded in the Bay of Biscay. We appreciate the Minister’s frankness and determination to help the industry, but we will judge by actions. Day by day, we continue to defend the interests of professionals against this unjustified ban. It jeopardises an entire economic sector vital for the coastal regions of the Bay of Biscay,” said Olivier Le Nézet, President of the National Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture.

 

Source: Press Release

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