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WWF slams return of “harmful” EU fisheries subsidies by Jason Holland June 21,2019   |  Source: SeafoodSource

European Union fisheries ministers have adopted a strikingly regressive position on the post-2020 funding strategy for the maritime and fisheries sector, WWF has warned.

The NGO said the “partial general approach” negotiating position for the 2021-2027 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), agreed at the European Council on 18 June, endorses the reintroduction of harmful subsidies for vessels up to 24 meters in length, and cautioned that this type of financial support would risk increasing the existing fleet’s activities in already heavily-overfished waters.

It believes that the proposed subsidies would encourage not only the purchasing of new fishing vessels, but also the modernization of older ones with more powerful motors, which will extend the reach of the E.U. fleet, which in some areas is “already up to three times larger than sustainable fishing allows.”

Samantha Burgess, head of marine policy at the WWF European Policy Office, questioned how the E.U. could hope to deliver sustainable seafood, support the long-term viability of coastal communities, and rebuild ocean health and fish populations with subsidies that will “actively support” overfishing.

“The EUR 6 billion [USD 6.7 billion] EMFF is comprised of public money, and these


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