Last week the European Parliament comfortably passed a motion to call on the Commission to double the ceiling for de minimis aid to the fishing industry. 10 out of the 12 Irish MEPs voted in favour. Commissioner Damanaki responded to the questions from Parliament on 9 May, stating:
“I share the concerns about the poor income of our fishermen, especially of the owners of small vessels in coastal regions. But we had this problem even before the raise of oil prices. Of course, this has worsened the situation, but the main reason remains that overfishing jeopardizes the health of our stocks. This is the main issue that we have to solve through our reform of the Common Fisheries Policy“.”The only way to tackle the problem of fuel prices permanently is to improve the resilience of the sector, for instance using those European Fisheries Fund measures that help to restructure the fishing fleet, as it happened in Belgium. In order to address this situation the Commission encourages the Member States to use fully the possibilities offered by the European Fisheries Fund. Until now the Member States used less than 20% of the overall allocation.“
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