French small-scale fishing organisation Association Pleine Mer is among the groups organising a demonstration timed for 1100 on 25th September, to be held in Concarneau outside the offices of France Pélagique, the company operating new pelagic vessel Scombrus.
Association Pleine Mer’s argument is that his 80-metre vessel operates under the French flag, but its catches will not benefit the local economy as frozen herring, mackerel and horse mackerel will be landed in IJmuiden, where France Pélagique’s parent company Vrolijk has its own vessels land their catches.
‘This is an economic and social scandal. The impact of this type of fishing on the ecosystem is enormous – and to be viable, let alone profitable, such a boat requires a huge concentration of quotas, consuming the few remaining crumbs available for the artisanal sector,’ Association Pleine Mer states.
The coastal fishermen are less than happy with the fact that during lockdown, smaller boats were tied up, while the pelagic vessels were able to continue operation.
They also claim that there is a significant conflict of interest in Antoine Dhellemes, who established and managed France Pélagique, being both the current vice-president of the National Fisheries Committee (CNPMEM) and president of FROM Nord, as well as president of the French association of POs. Geoffrey Dhellemes currently runs the company.
‘Just like feudal barons, these fishing lords pass on power to each other while serfs work on their lands. Association Pleine Mer calls on fishermen, associations, trade unions, and citizens to mobilise with them on 25th September. The impunity of industrial fishing has gone on long enough!’ Association Pleine Mer states.