The government is watching the disintegration of the French fishing sector as it takes place, according to Olivier Le Nézet, president of France’s National Fisheries Committee (CNPMEM).
He said that the war in Ukraine has push up fuel costs and generated galloping inflation in terms of supplies and raw materials, all of which is undermining the profitability of fishing operators. Olivier Le Nézet stressed that this has been accompanied by a drop in prices at the quayside.
‘With fuel at one euro per litre, revenues barely cover the costs of bringing fish back to port,’ he said.
He pointed out that CNPMEM has been involved in implementing various support mechanisms, with numerous meetings with the Secretary of State for the Sea and the Prime Minister, adding that while the state has softened the blows to the fishing sector, it has not come up with long-term solutions or a concrete vision for French fishing for the coming 20 years
‘At a European level, it begs the question whether the French State is defending its industry. We have been pushing for months for a renewal of the European emergency aid framework as long as the Ukrainian conflict lasts, for the development of de minimis aid to take into account companies with several vessels or for the revision of the aid ceiling,’ he said.
‘A a national level, we’re now told – It’s up to you!’
He commented that it is regrettable that every attempt at discussion with the private sector have been complicated, slowed down or even compromised by the State’s lack of consideration towards these different players.
‘It is clear that burdens on our profession continue to weigh down our profession the State is calmly witnessing the progressive disintegration of our sector. To the industry, I can only say that there is no question of giving in to the sad fate that seems to be reserved for us.’