A report by the European Commission itself assumes the impact of the price of diesel, which it now denies
“Will there be significant repercussions?” Continues the impact report on the new directive. “No”. And spice it up with paragraphs like this: “An overwhelming majority of all categories of participants in the consultation were in favor of a revision of the DFE that would encourage the use of alternative energy sources that support the transition towards climate neutrality.” Or this other: “The vast majority of citizens and representatives of civil society expressed their support for the abolition of both preferential tax treatment for specific sectors of activity and the distinction between commercial and non-commercial use.” Fishing, like agriculture, is one of the sectors that, until now, was exempt from taxation for the supply of fuel. The complete document of the DFE, of 312 pages, does not establish any compensation mechanism for the fleet, despite the fact that the Vice President of the Commission Valdis Dombrovkis himself has admitted that this measure “would leave small fishermen in a worse situation”. Nine out of ten ships in the Galician fleet, more than 3,800, are of minor gear.
Cepesca: “It will put our food sovereignty at risk”
For the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (Cepesca), the fuel tax would seriously disrupt the “fragile” balance of its activity. Its president, Juan Manuel Liria, warned yesterday, for whom such a measure could endanger the food sovereignty of Spain and Europe, against interests such as those of Asia, “currently immersed in an open and unfair war to monopolize their fleets, in many illegal cases, marine resources ”. In his opinion, the end of subsidized diesel would impact the viability of fishing companies by supplying fuel, on average, 40% of the costs of their activity, “already with really tight margins”.
The supply of cheaper diesel in other non-EU ports, believes Cepesca, will cause fleets to stop operating in Spanish and community ports against third parties, which it would induce a shortage of raw materials and the consequent loss of the food sovereignty that we currently have, as is the case in Spain thanks to the coverage of our fleets. To this “should be added the loss of thousands of jobs since the alternative ports would monopolize all the assets generated by the fishing activity, such as cold storage centers, processing plants and a large part of the value chain.”
For Brussels, the path is through retrofitting the fleet to cleaner propulsion systems, despite the fact that the World Trade Organization (CMO) considers that aid for the modernization of ships, as well as for the purchase of ice or bait, should also be prohibited.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.