The European Commission today published a legislative package in response to the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fishing industry. The proposed framework unlocks existing EU funding and market schemes to support affected fishers. The EU fishing industry welcomes the emergency measures proposed by the Commission to try to mitigate the adverse effects of those who are being directly threatened by the crisis and to calm the tension in our markets. The sector looks forward to a quick adoption by EU authorities allowing a speedy and flexible implementation of the provisions in the Member States. The Industry is disappointed that no extra-funding is included and is calling that this be addressed as a matter of urgency in light of the fact that otherwise the measures proposed will not be effective to cope with the unprecedented crisis.
The EU fishing sector has presented to European authorities the critical measures that have to be taken in order to overcome the operational, commercial, and safety problems that the sector has only begun to endure and which will inevitably and without doubt worsen in the coming weeks due to the protective measures taken against the spread of the COVID-19. The primary concern of the sector is the continuity of fishing activities and food supply to EU citizens. Measures are also needed for those vessels forced to cease operations.