Spanish industry body Cepesca has again asked the government to include the country’s deep-sea fleet in the initiative that provides fishing operators with a €0.20/litre fuel support to counteract the effects of spiralling fuel costs.
According to Cepesca, other fishing industry sectors and other economic sectors receive this benefit, and excluding the deep-sea fleet is detrimental to Spain’s food security in favour of third parties, which are in the paradoxical situation of being entitled to this benefit of they bunker at a Spanish facility.
Cepesca describes it as meaningless, unfair and discriminatory that this fleet sector, operating in the waters of other EU nations, third countries and international waters, should be excluded from this scheme – even when the supplier is a Spanish company and the purchaser has the correct Spanish tax codes.
There are already reports that some fleet sectors, such as Spanish freezer vessels operating from Montevideo, could suspend their activities once the present squid season ends.
Cepesca points out that the 300 vessels of the Spanish deep-sea fleet, which account for around 60% of the country’s catches, are up against stiff competition from Asian fleet which are able to operate with lower standards of crew welfare and environmental compliance, while also often able to export production tariff-free to European markets.