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This joint NGO letter highlights our serious concerns regarding some amendments tabled to the European Commission’s proposal on the post-2020 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to maintain subsidies for extraordinary cessation (previously called temporary cessation) and re-introduce subsidies for the permanent cessation of fishing activities. We ask MEPs to strengthen the Commission’s proposal and reject this type of harmful subsidies which have been considered very problematic in the past, as cash flow is difficult to control. The risk is that EU and public money is misused to finance activities that enhance fishing capacity.
Although extraordinary cessation is often described as aid linked to conservation measures, in some cases, this kind of subsidy artificially maintains excessive fishing capacity and its associated environmental and economic damaging effects.
While the intended purpose of permanent cessation is to support the exit of vessels from the sector and tackle overcapacity, the European Court of Auditors identified this type of measures as one of the most controversial direct subsidies that, paradoxically, have the effect of encouraging fishers to stay in business.