COVID-19 represents a serious public health emergency with enormous consequences for citizens, society and the economy. In this context, the fishing sector is being particularly affected by the interruption of the market, among other circumstances.
Considering that fishing activity is at the center of our nation’s food security strategy, it is vitally important that it be supported in a manner consistent with that responsibility. For this reason, the entities promoting the FIP BLUES project, among which are organizations of fish producers, both regionally and transnationally, as well as selling houses, sent a letter to the competent administrations last Friday, April 3, transferring their concerns and demands in this difficult situation.
In response to this letter, the Consellería do Mar de la Xunta de Galicia expressed their desire for encouragement and empathy with the situation that the surface longline sector is currently experiencing, as well as thanks for the widespread participation in the supply chain of fish for Spanish and Galician society.
They also reported on the work they are carrying out in the search for solutions to the current situation, in which they have the support of other departments of the autonomous government and, especially, that of the fishing entities. In this way, we can highlight the following:
– Establishment of contacts with the Spanish embassies and diplomatic representations in various countries such as Peru, New Zealand, Cape Verde, Namibia, etc., as well as with the Galician representations in Argentina, to communicate the difficulties encountered by the long-distance fleet and demand the provision of timely support.
– Search for travel alternatives to the difficulties of movement of ground staff and crew.
– Search for physical storage solutions for catches transferred to Galicia until their release on the market.
– Study of open possibilities regarding storage aid.
– Establishment of a specific line of support for the maritime-fishing sector, articulated by IGAPE, and which should serve to guarantee access to new operational financing for commercial traffic in the supply chain of seafood.
– Inform the Ministry and the European Commission of the need to extend aid to the transforming and auxiliary system of the maritime-fishing sector (conserves, frozen, depuration of mollusks, shellfish cookers, etc.) in order to ensure the correct equality in the event of forced arrest of the activity and in the provision of aid in the line of liquidity and currency.
– Study and analysis of aid that can contribute to mitigate losses to those vessels that remained fishing in this period of alarm.