Dear Madam, dear Sir,
The next European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will determine the allocation of more than 6 billion euros of public subsidies to the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and to the protection of the marine environment until 2027. This is almost exactly the deadline given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to make all our means of production and patterns of consumption compatible with the biological limits of the planet.
Last April, the former European Parliament agreed on a position introducing and maintaining harmful subsidies at EU level. The Council adopted in June a partial general approach that goes even further. Both institutions wish to introduce, among other things, subsidies for the construction of fishing vessels, which were banned 15 years ago in the EU. Fisheries scientists and economists have alarmingly stated that these subsidies will inevitably increase fishing effort and cause overfishing.
The EU has taken international commitments to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.6, which mandates banning harmful subsidies that contribute to overfishing and overcapacity by 2020. The reintroduction of harmful subsidies in the EMFF will severely undermine EU international credibility and jeopardise negotiations currently taking place at the World Trade Organisation to achieve SDG 14.6. The EMFF constitutes a key tool for ensuring we uphold this international commitment.
There can be no sustainable fisheries if the European Union maintains economic incentives to fish beyond ecological limits. We respectfully urge you to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies and to ensure the protection and restoration of the marine environment.
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