CEPESCA has called on the Spanish government to act urgently on the fuel crisis and implement measure similar to the COVID-19 pandemic measures
The Spanish fisheries sector has called on their government to implement measure equal to the measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, to avoid the fishing fleet halting going to sea and causing a shortage in the supply of fresh fish.
In a press release on Friday 18 March, CEPESCA called on the Spanish government to act saying:
“The fishing sector asks the Government to adopt immediate measures to reverse the situation of unviability of its activity as a result of the sharp rise in operating costs derived from the unprecedented increase in the price of energy, especially diesel. The sector, which has already warned of possible product supply problems for the population if the current cost situation is not tackled, urges the Executive to show the same responsibility that fishermen assumed during the hardest months of the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid it, as the Government itself has recognized.
The fishermen, represented by Cepesca and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds (FNCP) , demand that the situation be alleviated in a practical and rapid manner after analysing the meeting held last Tuesday with Alicia Villauriz, Secretary General of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food. Solutions were sought at the meeting and, although the fishermen value the initiatives outlined, they consider that their effect would only be noticeable in the medium term and that they are insufficient.
In the opinion of the sector, the initiatives considered during the meeting (implementation of compensation measures in the face of significant disturbances in the markets contemplated in article 26 of the EMFFA (European Maritime Fund for Fisheries and Aquaculture) for the period 2021-2027) are, indeed, successful, but useless in the short term. “Their European processing and subsequent transposition into Spanish law would not make them effective before the end of this year,” the sector points out. In this regard, and at the request of Spain, this issue will be addressed next Monday, March 21, at the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of the European Union.
Therefore, the fishermen, who value this initiative of the Government, nevertheless urge the Executive to urgently implement measures that provisionally tackle the situation, and give as an example those adopted by France, which yesterday announced aid of 35 cents per litre to the fishing sector until July 31. Among these measures, the sector points out, among others, the temporary exemption from Social Security contributions, use of de minimis aid or reductions in port fees.
In this sense, the fishing sector hopes that, in the next meeting with Minister Planas, still undated, the implementation and without delay of this type of solutions to relieve pressure can be addressed decisively. It should be remembered that the price of fishing oil has doubled in just a few weeks and that this cost already represents more than 50% of the total of fishing activity.
Likewise, the fishermen warn that the transport strike is causing very serious damage to the fishing sector, both deep-sea and inshore, causing the loss of hundreds of tons of fish in the first case and the mooring of numerous fleets in the case of the inshore, given the impossibility of marketing their catches.”