The more fuel efficient the fishing vessel – the higher the profits – that is the view of a new European Commission report out recently. It also claimed that vessels operating with beam trawls were not only damaging the environment, but were also the least economic.
The 2010 Annual Economic Report on the EU fishing fleet, released today, shows a reduction in economic performance of the EU fishing sector in recent years.Some segments of the fleet are worse off than others. “Certain gear types requiring high fuel consumption, such as demersal and beam trawlers, struggle to ensure profitability at all,” according to the report. Beam trawling is a very fuel-intensive fishing method, since it involves dragging heavy equipment that touches the sea floor. Despite an exemption on fuel tax and subsidies to cover some operating costs, this fleet segment is struggling to keep profitability. In many cases – such as the fleets of the UK, Belgium and Netherlands – large beam trawlers are actually operating at a loss.
A second and separate report issued on the fishing capacity of member states concluded that the size of the EU fishing fleet continues to decrease at a very slow pace, maintaining a situation of overcapacity in most of the fleet.
The Commission wrote that these studies add further weight to calls for significant structural change within the EU fish catching sector and a far reaching reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki stated: “We need to bring EU fleets back to profitability and we must avoid keeping subsidizing overfishing, at a high cost to taxpayers. We need to reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, to provide sustainable solutions to turn this situation around and ensure a viable economic future for the EU fisheries sector.”
Courtesy of: www.fishupdate.com