Fishers to mount London protest over fuel Published: 30 May, 2008
FISHERMEN will demonstrate at the Fisheries Ministry in London next Tuesday to highlight the lack of Government support on fuel prices.
The demonstration will be held at the DEFRA headquarters in Smith Square, London, on Tuesday June 3 from 8.00 am.
The demonstration is timed to coincide with a meeting of fishing industry representatives and UK fisheries ministers to discuss the fuel issue.
The National Federation of Fishermens Organisations (NFFO) and the Scottish Fishermens Federation have joined forces to impress on the ministers the urgency of providing short-term, temporary, aid.
Fish is sold through the auction system, this makes fishing uniquely vulnerable to rising fuel prices.
“This is why fishing needs support to survive as higher costs cannot simply be passed on to the consumer, said Barrie Deas, NFFO chief executive.
It is a matter of the utmost urgency that ministers put together a survival package for the fishing industry.
We know that the industry must adjust to the new era of high fuel costs but this must be achieved by an orderly transition; otherwise the fallout in terms of businesses, lives and communities will be horrendous.
We are calling on the ministers to provide the de minimis support that is being made available in other member states, like Spain and France, along with other short term relief measures.
The Federations are eager to begin discussions with government on a rescue and restructuring plan for the industry but are insistent on the need for immediate support to safeguard the future of the industry.
Fuel costs have increased by 320% over the last five years and 40% since January 2008.
The Fishing Federations have pressed for:
. The de minimis allowable under EC state aid rules: 30,000 per enterprise over three years;
. Relief from Light Dues – UK fishermen are the only fishermen in the EU required to pay for the upkeep of lights; and
. Relief for administrative costs like satellite monitoring equipment, electronic logbooks and survey costs.
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