Minister Planas informed Cepesca of his intention to give close to 100 million euros, much less than what they are demanding.
in full critical week for brexit negotiations, the fishing sector also claims a part of the European funds that Spain will receive. the employer, Cepesca has estimated the investment at 381 million euros necessary to structurally reform its model and develop a more competitive, resilient and sustainable activity.
This has been transferred to Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with whom they met weeks ago and announced the idea of incorporating ship modernization measures, technological development and innovation, digitization of the sector, among others.
It was a meeting with the entire agri-food sector in which Planas announced the intention to allocate 1,050 million, of which nearly 100 million they would be for the fishing sector, Javier Garat, secretary general of Cepesca, recalled.
But the sector demands more aid. Of the total of 381 million from the Recovery Plan for the fishing sector, 142.8 million correspond to the first of the transformation areas, 179.3 to activity sustainability and 58.8 to social cohesion and continuity.
With these funds it is also intended to solve some of the problems that the industry has been dragging for years, such as illegal fishing or generational change. “In Spain there are 32,000 crew. Without a doubt, we need to cover the relief needs. People are getting older and are retiring”, Garat pointed out.
He also recalls that “the fleet is getting older”, especially in coastal areas with ships in Galicia that are over 40 years old. He also claimed that “the consumption of fish in Spain has been progressively reduced. In 10 years, consumption in homes has fallen by 20%. And that despite the Covid it has grown in homes, but “a lot has been lost in the horeca channel”.
In this way, the sector wants to take advantage of the opportunity represented by the “Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan” designed by the Spanish Government to channel the European funds corresponding to our country -140,000 million euros in the next three years- and face well your own recovery.
Within the plan designed with the consulting firm Deloitte, The first strategic line deals with the technological development of fishing companies, incorporating cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain or artificial intelligence.
“The objective is to improve the traceability of fishery products, the accessibility, analysis and use of data and connectivity on board ships, the optimization and digitization of production and organizational systems throughout the value chain, and the launch of an online platform to teach training courses in an accessible telematic way for the crews that are fishing at sea and for personnel on land”, they point out.
The sustainability of fishing activities, second strategic line, seeks to promote the circular economy, reducing marine pollution and promoting the reuse of plastic nets and utensils; decarbonization, through the modernization and energy transition of the fleet, and the promotion of fishing activity as a source of sustainable food.
Lastly, the third strategic line is oriented to promote social cohesion and ensure the continuity of the fishing sector, promoting the incorporation of women by increasing the number of nautical graduates and their employability on fishing vessels.
It also wants to improve conditions on board, increasing spaces for crews, and implementing measures to support the improvement of professional attitudes among young people, with initiatives to promote the incorporation of the population under 35 years of age, as well as facilitating the hiring of workers from other countries.