Concerns have been raised by the Chair of the DPPO that fishers may not qualify for Brexit compensation if they carry fisheries penalty points
EU fishers may not qualify for the Brexit Adjustment Reserve fund support if they have any fishery penalty points under current proposals being considered by the European Commission.
The Commission is considering implementing the same qualifying criteria for EMFF (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund) funding onto those fishers seeking compensation for the negative effects they have been suffering due to Brexit.
Esben Sverdrup-Jensen, Chair of the Danish Pelagic Producers Organisation (DPPO) highlighted the issue at this morning’s ‘Future of EU-UK Fisheries after Brexit’ Public Consultation held by the European Parliament Fisheries Committee (PECH Committee) where Ireland’s Ciarán O’Driscoll, the Netherlands’ Gerard van Balsfoort, and France’s Eric Banel gave evidence to the Committee on the aftereffects of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the new EU-UK Fisheries Agreement is having on the EU fishing fleet.
Mr Sverdrup-Jensen said that there was great concern amongst Danish fishers that the scheme will discriminate against those who were guilty of even the smallest offence and had been subjected to a penalty point.
He said, “There is a concern for the eligibility of fishermen who need to receive compensation. The system proposed follows the principles of the EMFF, meaning that if you have a point, you are not eligible for compensation.
“I know that you have discussed the points system on several occasions in the European Parliament, and you know that some of the points given to fishermen equally what would be for you and me, a parking ticket. But in relation to Brexit and compensation fishermen are now put into a situation where they may not be able to compensation due to minor offences similar to a parking ticket.
“Imagine not being able to work or being forced to sell your business or your house because you had a parking ticket one day.
“This is a major concern. It has to be dealt with otherwise we will end up in an impossible situation and fishermen will be forced to give up their businesses as a consequence of Brexit.”
by Oliver McBride