CNPMEM questions the French government’s commitment to the fishing sector
The French fishing industry has been left reeling from the increase in fuel costs and has questioned its government’s commitment to the sector.
In a statement to the French government, the Comite National Des Peches (CNPMEM) has called the events “From Promises to Disappointments” and expressed the industry’s frustrations. In its statement the association says the war in Ukraine has increased the cost of fuel and generated galloping inflation in supplies and raw materials which is seriously affecting the economic balance of boatowners.
It points out that the crisis suffered for several months is accentuated by a clear reduction in the value of fish and the price paid to the fisherman and this situation affects all territories indiscriminately, regardless of the facades in mainland France or overseas.
With fishing diesel at €1.00, the Association reports that its members’ turnover barely covers the incompressible costs the boats incur to go to their fishing grounds and bring their products back to the ports. In fishing, remuneration being partially indexed to the price of fuel, this impasse creates unbearable social pressure for fishermen and their families, says the CNPMEM.
The CNPMEM say it was involved from the start in the defence and establishment of the various support systems for the fleet, as well as their renewal, while leading discussions to consider solutions for the future: no less than 8 meetings with the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister and their services. This also included numerous exchanges with seafood distributors, and also included engagement with Total (French-based fuel supplier) and CMA/CGM (French shipping and logistics company) in recent months.
For two-years, the State has alleviated the emergency but without defining the conditions of a lasting solution for the sector nor displaying any concrete ambition for French fishing for the next 20 years, state CNPMEM.
Olivier Le Nezet, President of CNPMEM declares: “At the European level it begs the question whether the French State is defending its sector. We have been pushing for months for a renewal of the European emergency aid framework as long as the Ukrainian conflict lasts, for the evolution of de minimis aid to take into account companies with several vessels or for the revision of the aid ceiling of minimis.
“At the national level, we are now told: It’s up to you! But what do we do when the State which holds the data allowing us to make projections or assess solutions does not transmit it?”
The CNPMEM says it strongly regrets that all attempts at discussions with the private sector have been complicated, slowed down or even compromised by the State’s lack of consideration towards these different actors.
Olivier le Nezet asks: “Where are the 100 million euros that the Secretary of State wanted to impose on large and medium-sized stores? Rather than making announcements, he should have supported us in analysing the options on the table.”
This lack of consideration has been felt by fishemen for several months and on numerous cases, says the CNPMEM.
“We thought that the messages had been sent with the Filière Morte days. It is clear that the accumulation of constraints weighing on our profession continues and that without any emotion the State is witnessing the progressive disintegration of our sector. To the professionals, I can only tell you that there is no question of giving up on the sad fate that seems to be reserved for us,” concludes the Association’s President.
At present, French fishing boats can avail of a fuel subsidy scheme of €0.20 per litre as long as they submit their invoices.