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Commercial Fishing

EU fishers call upon EC for its support in Brexit talks

EU fishers call upon EC for its support in Brexit talks

EU fishers call upon EC for its support in Brexit talks

In a joint declaration sent to Michel Barnier, coastal communities, coastal regions and fishermen from all over the European Union called upon the European Commission, Council and Parliament to remain steadfast in their support for European fishermen as the negotiations with the United Kingdom are nearing the finish line.

A press statement said: “Brought together the initiative of the President of the Galician regional Government, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the 70 signatories from seven EU countries echoed the call that had already brought them together for the first declaration of Santiago de Compostela in 2017. To coastal communities and countless European citizens, fisheries is more than an economic activity. It is at the heart of the social, cultural, emotional and economic fabric of hundreds of ports, communities and value chains across the European Union.”

The mayors, aldermen and regional governments called upon Michel Barnier to continue protect European fishermen and work towards a Brexit agreement that does justice to European fishermen, their communities and the people that depend on them.

Alberto Núñez Feijóo, President of the Galician Regional Government (Spain) stated: Today we are sending a strong signal to Michel Barnier that European coastal communities in Galicia and elsewhere stand by their fishermen whose activity has shaped our ports and cities for centuries. It is also their future that the European Union needs to protect in these Brexit negotiations”.

Bart Naeyaert, Delegate responsible for fisheries in the deputation of the province of West-Vlaanderen (Belgium), added: Even in a country with only 67 kilometres of coastline we have a vibrant fisheries tradition and have been fishing close to the UK for centuries. Beyond the economic value it is people and families that depend on a good Brexit deal”.

Gerard van Balsfoort, chairman of the European Fisheries Alliance, concluded: “European fishermen are truly grateful for the support that we receive today from our hometowns and regions. It impressively demonstrates what is at stake here: more than a number’s game or who gets which fish, it is really about the future of people, families and communities”. 

The European Fisheries Alliance is a coalition of European fishing fleets directly impacted by Brexit. For the time being, members include national organizations from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. The alliance accounts for over 18,000 fishermen and 3,500 vessels across the up and downstream industry, with an annual turnover €20.7 billion.