Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Breton fishermen in an "extremely worrying" situation

The situation of the Breton fishing and aquaculture sector is "extremely worrying" at this beginning of deconfinement, alerted on Tuesday the president of the Regional committee of maritime fisheries of Brittany, Olivier Le Nezet, making being of a letter in this sense to the government.

"The situation is extremely complicated," said Olivier Le Nezet, also head of the Breizhmer association, which brings together players in the Breton fishing and aquaculture sector.

"The impact of Covid-19 on the industry is much greater now than during confinement," he said.

In a letter addressed to the government and dated Monday, he explains that the "market cannot absorb all the landings", while most of the ships have set to sea.

"The prices have collapsed and even when the catches find buyers, the armaments are far below the profitability thresholds", continues the missive of which AFP obtained a copy.

The resumption of catering activity "will not be enough to reverse the trend", believes Olivier Le Nezet, judging that the situation is worsened "by an unprecedented resumption of imports of fishery products since the beginning of containment".

"These imports at abnormally low prices are neither accidental nor anecdotal. It is obvious that the British fishery, at the origin of many of these imports, takes advantage of this situation to settle on the French market and strengthen its position in the ongoing Brexit negotiations ", denounces the sector in its letter to the Prime Minister and the Ministers of the Economy, Foreign Affairs and Agriculture.

"Since the gradual deconfinement, with the return to the sea of ​​more notably deep-sea vessels, the market has just stalled at the start of the week," explains the National Fisheries Committee in a letter addressed to the Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume on Thursday.

"Even if the health situation seems to improve, the market is not able to absorb a + normal + level of production", he continues, asking the State to continue to support the sector by maintaining temporary stops and partial activity grants until the end of September.