Friday, 14 December 2012

Lithuania's fishermen are unhappy

Here are some more recruits to the "look what the CFP has done to us" club: the fishermen of Lithuania.

Are the European Commission and its fisheries watchdog, Department of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, more caring about Atlantic mackerel and fish-abundant Mauritania, or small European fisheries like JSC Baltlanta from Lithuania?

They are definitely not concerned about the interests of small European fisheries, like that of Lithuania, maintain the heads of Baltlanta, once the largest oceanic fishing industry company in the Baltics.

I have news for the fishermen of Lithuania. The European Commission is not that concerned with the interests of large European fisheries. Well, not with the British and Irish ones, anyway. But then, what exactly did the Lithuanians expect? Before they joined the EU they were warned by a number of people that the move would not be beneficial and one of the examples of the EU's malevolence pointed out to them was the Common Fisheries Policy.

Thriving until the European Union’s involvement into its business, now the company has fallen victim to the adverse EU fishing policies as its vessels have been grounded from last September. Blaming in particular the EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, for their misfortunes, some at Baltlanta call her, sneeringly, “ a duffer” who has perhaps no clue in her Brussels office how crippling the policies have been to Baltlanta off the African coast after she signed the new Protocol to the EC and Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement, a big time game-changer for the Lithuanian company.

“According to the Protocol, the fish quotas have been redistributed among the EU member states. Now they favor big fleets that only large European countries can boast of. The permissible fishing zone has been pulled back beyond the 20 nautical miles, 10 miles deeper into the ocean from the previous zone. That has reduced our catch 10 times; the Commission has nodded to Mauritania’s demand to recruit 60 percent of the workforce in the country. Besides, the EC negotiators have agreed to give 2 percent of the fish catch for local charities, which translates into thousands of tons at the end of the day. Among other common sense-defying concessions to Mauritania is the obligation to buy ship fuel from local vendors and offload the catch only in Mauritanian seaports, both of which is also nonsense,” said Alfonsas Bargaila, chairman of Lithuania’s Fishing Enterprise Association (LFEA).

Read the whole piece. It is not long. Always good to see people awakening to reality.


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