Environment

Two largest recipients of EU fisheries fund misused EU tax payer cash, report finds

photo of fisherman to illustrate story saying Commission fishing quota proposal ignores scientist call to catch 60% less plaice


In a current report, we discovered that France and Spain have up to now failed to make use of the EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in conservation efforts to finish overfishing and restore the marine setting. As an alternative each international locations have continued to offer ‘dangerous subsidies’ away to fund prices resembling engine substitute or modernisation of vessels, contributing to overfishing.

Within the report, which analyses the way in which France, Spain and Eire spent the obtainable funds in 2017 and 2018, attorneys from ClientEarth have recognized main flaws in the way in which France and Spain already spent EU cash, while being the most important recipients of the EMFF.

The report exhibits as an illustration that out of three,105 tasks in Spain in 2018, 305 had been devoted to the safety and restoration of the setting whereas 1,558 had been devoted to momentary cessation – which artificially maintains fishers in exercise.

It additionally highlights that French authorities have continued to advertise dangerous subsidies, regardless of the general worthwhile financial scenario enabling fishers to self-finance their investments.

ClientEarth Fisheries lawyer Flaminia Tacconi stated:

“Our report exhibits that there’s nonetheless a protracted solution to go to earlier than we are able to say EU cash in fisheries is getting used correctly. Measures that intention at defending the setting by sustaining wholesome fish shares, restoring the marine setting, avoiding bycatch of cetaceans and bettering security on board nonetheless characterize a minority of the tasks financed by the present EMFF. They need to be inspired.

“We remorse that as an alternative of accelerating environmentally pleasant tasks, some member states and MEPs are pushing for the reintroduction of capability enhancing measures, resembling subsidises for the primary acquisition of vessels, in contradiction with the declared political will and pressing have to deal with overfishing.

“It is usually significantly worrying and unfair that enormous scale fishers nonetheless get 80% of the EU fund, while having the most important impression on fish shares and the marine ecosystems.”

What’s subsequent?

Trilogue negotiations started on Wednesday 4th March for the 2021-2027 EMFF. Our attorneys have known as on the EU establishments partaking within the talks to make sure higher use of EU taxpayer cash.

They’ve warned towards the potential reintroduction of dangerous subsidies, which had been banned within the EU in 2004 and are presently being eradicated at WTO degree. A number of members of the European Parliament and EU member states have proposed together with them within the subsequent framework.

Tacconi added:

“EU choice makers and member states have the duty to spend EU public funds in a approach that finest serves the pursuits of our widespread marine setting and advantages the fisheries sector, particularly small scale fishers and coastal communities.

 

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