Europêche has requested an urgent meeting with the EU Commissioner for Fisheries, Sinkevicius to clarify their true roadmap for fishing. Photo: Fintan
Europêche, an association that represents European fishermen and of which CEPESCA is a part, has requested an urgent meeting with the European Commissioner for Fisheries, Oceans and the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius, to clarify the true roadmap of Europe to conserve fisheries resources and protect marine ecosystems.
The fishermen have requested the meeting after the commissioner’s public support for a campaign that requests, “demagogically”, they point out, the ban on trawling, coinciding with the last day of the public consultation opened by the European Commission to prepare a new plan action plan for European fisheries within the framework of the Biodiversity Strategy 2030.
The fishermen have requested the meeting to speak “in person” with the commissioner and find out his real position on trawling, since 10,000 European boats depend on it – 900 of them in our country – and their crews, representing 11 % of the Community fishing fleet, 35% of the EU’s fishing capacity and 38% of the sector’s income. The fishermen want to confront with the Commissioner what plan he has on this reality, what value the efforts of the sector have for him and for Europe to contribute to environmental sustainability and what security it can provide to European trawlers “Faced with purely demagogic campaigns, without scientific basis and incapable of measuring the consequences, both economic and social, for many communities of European citizens,” points out the sector.
The fishing sector, in addition, wants to convey to the commissioner its will to solve the different criteria on this activity, based on a serious and responsible dialogue, the only way, he points out, to agree on positions capable of developing fishing policies that support both fishermen and to coastal communities and the environment. According to the sector, this objective is possible “if all parties act from honesty and knowledge, a framework in which emotions do not fit, much less demagoguery.”
According to Javier Garat, President of Europêche and Secretary General of Cepesca, “we are really surprised with the attitude of the Fisheries Commissioner towards his European fishermen. It is incomprehensible and unexpected and evidence ignorance, we do not know if voluntary or not, about the fact that trawling has already closed all the places in the world where there are vulnerable ecosystems. At the same time,” adds Garat. “We fishermen regret the demagoguery of those who, without making a living from fishing activity, demonize trawling with false information that generates confusion among citizens, institutions and the people who represent them.”
Finally, the sector also wants to draw Sinkevicius’ attention to the existence of other citizens, and sectors of European economic activity, outraged by this unique environmentalist vision of fishing, due to its inconsistency, ignorance and remoteness from reality. In this sense, the sector will express to the commissioner the advisability of legislating thinking about the needs and points of view of all sensitivities “to avoid a conflict that European society, even more so with the uncertain health situation that we live in.”