Saturday, 26 November 2016

Foreign capital is rooted in the French fishing industry.

Same story - different country:

Foreign capital is increasingly present in the French fishing industry, a phenomenon which allows the arms to continue to operate in a sector where investments are limited but raising concerns socially.

The 14 boats, soon 15, of CFTO, plying the Atlantic and Indian oceans in search of tropical tuna. The company's 285 employees in difficulties, 60% of the French fishing capacity to the fish. With this announcement, "it is the France's family jewels that leave," laments Olivier Le Nézet, chairman of the regional committee of maritime fisheries and mariculture (CRPMEM) of Britain, who hopes that the boats remain registered in Britain, with on board french sailors.

"Unfortunately, we've seen the weapons purchased by such groups, in which over the years it is not much of French sailors," he recalls.

If arming Lorient Jégo-Quéré is remembered: after taking over in 1994, the Spanish Pescanova is was disengaged in 2003, with the key to a social plan for 75 sailors. For CFTO, Dutch P & P promised to maintain the "Breton character of the fleet" and keep "unchanged" staff. But unions are worried "about the possibility of registering these vessels to the French International Register (RIF), which would be serious for the future employment of seafarers but also sedentary," says Yves The Helgoualc'h , CGT of Concarneau. Embedded in this register sailors - of which only 25 to 35% should come from the European Union - are not subject to French social right, unlike those vessels registered in the first register.

French banks not attracted:

The arrival of foreign capital in France is not new: Spanish and Dutch are present in fish from ten to twenty years, but more on small boats. "It took more breadth recently," admits Marc Ghiglia, Director General of the owners of Union fishing France (UAPF). P & P has already bought in 2011 Euronor, strong 7 trawlers and fishing boats freezers in Northern Europe, and indirectly owns 20% stake in the fishery Compagnie de Saint-Malo. Another Dutch group bought two of France Pelagic trawlers, while the four Hot sauce vessels are under Italian control. Among the big arms, only Scapêche (Intermarché) and Sapmer, specializing in tuna, are still exclusively under French capital.

"Unfortunately, there is no business today or investors in France who have the means to buy such weapons" when a transmission is required, says Olivier Le Nézet.

The French fishing companies earn less money than their neighbors, says Marc Ghiglia, stressing the weight of social regulations. And bankers are not very attracted by this sector "where the return is not guaranteed: a natural resource is exploited with uncertainties," analyzes Jérôme Lafon, Managing fisheries sector of the public institution FranceAgriMer. In parallel, the appetite of foreign owners has been sharpened by the severe restrictions imposed by the European Union on the building of new boats. "The only way to grow is to buy competitors or other companies," says Mr. Ghiglia.

However, in a case such as CFTO, "there is no need to cry wolf. They are investors who come to the area, not speculators, they do not come to carve up the company (.. .) they come because they think these companies are profitable, "says Mr. Lafon. In terms of actual fishing, redemptions generally do not change much, says Mr. Ghiglia "boats continue to do exactly the same thing they like fishing and land the same."

Story courtesy of LaVoix du Nord. Translation by Google.