French Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin announces aid for fishermen affected by the reduction in sole quota

French Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin announces aid for fishermen affected by the reduction in sole quota

In order to support fishermen impacted by the significant drop in the sole quota in the Bay of Biscay, Annick Girardin, Minister of the Sea, has announced that a temporary assisted stop of fishing activities has been implemented for a period of eligibility extending from January 1 to December 31, 2022.

The sole quota of the Bay of Biscay had to be reduced by 37% within the framework of a strict application of the multiannual management plan for western waters following the opinion scientist at the last European Council in December 2021 on fishing quotas.

In order to benefit from this stop, vessels must meet several conditions:

  • Be registered in France;
  • Have carried out sea fishing activities for at least 120 days between January 1, 2020 and the date of submission of the aid request:
  • Be in a situation that meets at least one of the following two criteria:
  • Hold a national fishing authorization for the stock of common sole in the Bay of Biscay;
  • Have a dependence on the common sole stock equivalent to 10% or more of the total value of the vessel’s catch in the 2019 reference year.
  • Be up to date with its reporting obligations in terms of catches and landings;
  • Be in a regular situation vis-à-vis the bodies in charge of tax contributions and social contributions when submitting the application for assistance.
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The minimum duration of the vessel’s stoppage is 45 days with a tolerance of 3 days in the event of neutralisation of days not validated by the instructor service. The maximum shutdown period is 90 days. The vessel must leave at least 15 days of stoppage over the period from January 1 to March 31, 2022 inclusive.

The shutdown can also be split into several periods which cannot be less than 5 consecutive calendar days. The total number of days off is a ceiling that cannot be exceeded, and to which the applicant commits.

In order to be able to benefit from this assistance, fishermen can contact the Interregional Directorate of the North Atlantic Sea, Channel West (DIRM NAMO) and the Interregional Directorate of the South Atlantic Sea (DIRM SA) which will process the files. fishermen concerned by their maritime facades. 

“In December, the announcement of the reduction in sole quotas by 37% caused serious and legitimate concern on the part of fishermen. There is no going back, but I have a duty, as Minister of the Sea, to give them the support of the government. The efforts required of French fishermen are now offset by this exceptional aid plan financed from European funds,” said Annick Girardin, Minister of the Sea.

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