France

Fishing: nearly 70 Breton boats scrapped? – Economy



To date, this Thursday, more than 150 files have been submitted by shipping companies as part of the individual support plan (PAI) opened by the State in the context of Brexit. Half of these requests concern Breton boats and in particular offshore vessels whose economic balance is also strongly impacted by the price of diesel. Trawlers mainly based from Lorient to Saint-Brieuc. But also caseyeurs from Nord-Finistère whose shipowners are also considering the outcome of the scrapping plan, in the current context.

Provisional figures that the Secretary of State for the Sea does not confirm, pending “precise feedback from its interregional directorates”, in order to avoid any risk of duplicates between the files received in the regions and in Paris.

A third of the offshore fleet

These requests, the number of which promises to be exceptional in the end, testify to the crisis situation on which the profession has multiplied alerts in recent months. And especially in the Pays bigouden which, with around thirty potential fleet outings, could lose big. Precisely one third of the offshore fleet. A loss of turnover estimated at €20 million for the Guilvinec auction.

“There is no question of destabilizing the ports”, tried, this Thursday, to reassure the Secretary of State for the Sea, announcing a consultation with the sector and the local elected officials during the next fortnight, in order to calm worries.

A budget extension?

Yes, but now, the decree published in September establishes the rules with regard to the impact of Brexit for each boat. Under these conditions, only two outcomes seem possible, provided that the applicants complete the process. To respond to the economic situation of the armaments, the government can top up the budget for dossiers whose eligibility has been confirmed by the administration. “Nothing rules out the solution of a budget extension,” said the fishermen, despite the government’s promise not to destabilize the sector.

The government can also stick to the €60 million by limiting the number of boats sent for scrapping. But choosing the number of boats per port seems illusory, according to the profession, since the first excluded will be the ships least impacted by the sharing of quotas with the United Kingdom and access to British waters.

Answer at the end of the year

The leading producers’ organization, the Pêcheurs de Bretagne alone have 58 requests for PAI, the compensation for which would represent some €50 million. Where the State provided for an envelope of €60 million, the files submitted for the Channel and the Atlantic would require €90 million in compensation.

The answer should come in two weeks, but we will have to wait until the end of the year to know the true extent of the scrapping plan. The shipowners selected and which confirm their PAI request will have until the summer of 2023 to have their boat destroyed, depriving themselves of the possibility of investing in a new vessel for five years.



letelegramme Fr Trans

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