EAPO thanks the European Parliament and the Council for their swiftness in aiding fishermen and calls for equal treatment of fishermen in Member States’ support mechanisms
The European Association of Fish Producers Organisations (EAPO) has welcomed the European Parliament and the Council’s swift adoption on the modification of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF 2014-2022) to alleviate the consequences the current crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In a press release today, the EAPO writes:
“The plenary session of the European Parliament has adopted, in first reading and after a favourable position from the Council, the amendment to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) regulation with specific measures to alleviate the consequences of the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine.
These measures will allow Member States to use the remnants of the EMFF funds to compensate fishing businesses and the processing sector for additional costs, income foregone and seafood storage. Temporary cessation of fishing activities has been made possible for companies that cannot continue fishing due to economic constraints.
Since the beginning of the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine, fishing businesses have been asked to maintain their activity despite fuel prices greatly jeopardizing their profitability. Fuel prices have skyrocketed, reaching an all-time high of 1.80 € per liter in certain countries, the profitability threshold being at 60-euro cents a liter. Answers from each Member State have greatly varied. While some Member States have had quick and effective responses with a reduction of the fuel price per liter, others have refused to compensate their fishermen, sparking port blockades.
These measures being retroactive, it will bring relief to fishermen who have maintained their activities, their crew’s employment and fish supply for European consumers, sometimes at the cost of their own profitability. These measures will allow fishermen to get ready to take on the challenges to come such as working on fossil-free vessels.
EAPO looks forward to seeing the Member States act quickly in their adaptation of these measures and in their use of the toolbox the EU has put at their disposal to help fishermen overcome this unprecedented crisis.
EAPO asks each Member State to aid fishermen in the same way to maintain a level playing field and to ease tensions created by different levels of national state aids.”