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Weekly Overview: 1.6 Billion Fishing Vessel Deal Could Prove Costly to Fisheries Recovery

Lucy Towers
09 July 2013, at 1:00am

ANALYSIS - Today (10 July) the European Parliament Fisheries Committee will vote on fisheries subsidies as part of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

However, there is concern that €1.6 billion of public money could go towards the construction and modification of up to 20,000 fishing vessels, despite the need to rebuild fish stocks.

The WWF shared its concern that the deal on the table that the Fisheries Committee have to decide upon could set the clock back 20 years in terms of fisheries recoveries in some maritime areas as fleet renewal and modernisation will enhance the capacity of EU fishing fleets.

Tony Long, Director, WWF European Policy Office, said: “If MEPs want to support coastal communities, fishermen and fishing stocks over the medium to long term they have to vote down the proposed EMFF amendments supporting fleet renewal and modernisation. Fish stocks need to be given the time to recover so that there will be an industry in the next few years.” 

A poll by OCEAN2012 also showed that 68 per cent of respondents said they would like fisheries subsidies to prioritise rebuilding fish stocks.

The Canadian government is continuing its support into research designing environmentally friendly shrimp trawlers that have less impact on the seabed.  

Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, stated that the government will invest a further C$50,000 this year.

The state of Norway has acquired shares in fish farming company Cermaq. The state purchased 9,46 million shares at NOK 108.00 per share and, in addition, also purchased up to 5 million Cermaq shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange at the same price. 

New packaging design will hopefully open new markets for the Australian Goolwa cockle. 

“New packaging formats will enable us to reach new markets and consumers without sacrificing on quality or freshness,” said Independent Chair of the Goolwa Pipi Harvesters Association, Roger Edwards.