‘Current conditions with the high price of diesel, as well as costs for equipment and stores threaten the payment of fair wages for work at sea,’ said Soazig Palmer Le Gall, President of French PO Les Pêcheurs de Bretagne, which represents 675 vessels and 2500 fishermen in the west of France.
‘There is a real threat to the viability and the futures of fishing companies, from small inshore craft to the largest offshore fishing vessels.’
Les Pêcheurs de Bretagne is asking for a series of straightforward measures – election pledges that have yet to be honoured – that would signal the French government’s concern for an industry sector that is key to French sovereignty and which is committed to the implementation of sustainable fishing practices.
The PO is asking for the €0.35 subsidy for fuel that was granted on 16th March this year by the previous (Castex) administration to be applied fully, for the suspension of the European de minimis regulation which precludes support measures from matching the costs of fishing companies operating several vessels, and for the specific challenges facing commercial fishing – quotas, choke species technical restrictions, areas closures, etc – to be taken into consideration.
Les Pêcheurs de Bretagne is the largest French PO, and its members land approximately 90,000 tonnes of fish anually.