Commissioner Damanaki ready to support EU fisheries

10 Sep 2014
The fisheries products affected by the ban are live, fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, in brine and smoked fish, molluscs and crustaceans. Credit: flydime/CC BY-SA 2.0/via Wikimedia Commons

The fisheries products affected by the ban are live, fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, in brine and smoked fish, molluscs and crustaceans. Credit: flydime/CC BY-SA 2.0/via Wikimedia Commons

European Commissioner Maria Damanaki has reassured the Council and the European Parliament that the European Commission stands ready to support the European fisheries sector, following Russia’s trade ban on certain fisheries products.

In a letter addressed to Italian Minister Maurizio Martina and the Chair of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, Alain Cadec, Commissioner Damanaki outlined that the EU can provide financial support to the sector as well as the possibility of shifting unused fishing quotas to 2015.

In her letter, Commissioner Damanaki called upon the EU governments concerned by the ban to make use “as quickly as possible” of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which can provide financial help to producer organisations who are unable to sell their products to Russia. This aid enables them to store the unsold products until new markets have been found. She underlined that no approval by the European Commission is necessary to unlock these storage funds.

Commissioner Damanaki also pointed to flexibility rules which allow Member States to carry over up to 10% of their fishing quotas to the following year. She underlined that, given the current circumstances, she has instructed her services to examine the possibility go beyond the 10% quota flexibility. The Commissioner said that she could take a positive stance on this option, under the condition that scientific examination confirms that such a proposal would not undermine long term sustainability.

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