European trade union organisation ETF is calling for EU support for fisherman effected by the coronavirus outbreak.
“Our members across Europe have reported that vessels, in particular the ones that fish near the coast and do not stay more than 72 hours at sea, have stopped fishing or expect to stop within the next few days. This is because nobody is buying their fresh fish, as restaurants and open markets are closed,” wrote ETF Acting General Secretary Livia Spera in a letter to Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
“To safeguard livelihoods, support to fishermen for suspension of activity needs to be considered. Employed fishermen face the risk that fishing activities could start and then stop shortly again due the entry into force of the biological rest periods. As you know, most of employed fishermen are paid by a share of the catch, so a suspension of fishing activities means no income for workers.”
The letter added: “We call upon the European Commission to monitor the Member States’ use of these funds, which should be used to support employed fishermen income.”