EU Commissioner, Maria Damanaki. (Photo: EC)
EU insists on eliminating aid for scrapping vessels
Tuesday, May 01, 2012, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
EU Commissioner for Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, insists on the necessity of ending the economic support for scrapping fishing vessels because “it is not helpful at all.”
During the last debate of the Council of Fisheries Ministers of the European Union (EU) on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), held in Luxembourg, the Commissioner said that those aids are "instruments of the past" that have not been helpful to reduce the overcapacity excess of the European fleet.
"What we need are solutions," that is to say, more effective alternatives, emphasized Damanaki, according to the newspaper Faro de Vigo.
Meanwhile, the governments of France and Spain claim that such grants should remain.
According to the head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama) of Spain, Miguel Arias Cañete, the central executive will keep claiming in favour of maintaining the supports for the renewal of the fleet.
In turn, France required "the efforts already made should not be underestimated" to combat overcapacity.
In addition, the French Government proposed to resort to the aids for scrapping the fleet segments where there are problems.
During the meeting of the Fisheries Council, many Member States questioned the EU proposal to bind the industrial fleet to enter a fishing quota transfer market in order to reduce excess capacity.
The Minister of Fisheries of Denmark, Mette Gjerskov, said it would be appropriate to consider alternatives, such as the possibility of developing national plans that include measures to resize fishing vessels.
In this regard, Damanaki said the idea of quota transfer market "continues on the table and it will continue there."
However, she admitted that "this issue requires further reflection" as it is necessary to consider other options. One of them is to relate the fishing aids to each country's efforts so as to reduce the fleet capacity.
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By Analia Murias
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member European Commission - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs