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Federpesca: income diversification drives competitiveness

Speech at the public hearing of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee

25, May 2023

“The diversification of income through complementary activities is a driving force for the competitiveness of the fish sector. However, activities complementary to fishing must not act as a substitute for professional fishing but as a strengthening of the competitiveness, entrepreneurship, profitability and stability of the sector. Precisely in recent weeks, European fishing has been the object of a preliminary attack by the Commission: with a view to strengthening diversification, it is therefore essential to defend a primary sector that guarantees food products to European citizens and protects their food safety." Thus began the Director of Federpesca, Francesca Biondo, in front of the MEPs of the Fisheries Commission meeting yesterday, 24 May 2023.

Director Biondo spoke during the public hearing of the European Parliament's Fisheries Commission entitled "The future of fishing - How to promote income diversification and facilitate fishermen's access to EU funding".

The Commission recently proposed a controversial 'action plan' for the conservation of fisheries resources and the protection of marine ecosystems, alongside other initiatives implementing the European Green Deal. Considering its potential impact on fishing activities and the many challenges that the fisheries sector is currently facing, in particular the increase in fuel prices, it is necessary to think more sharply about the future of EU fisheries. For this reason, Parliament's Fisheries Committee has organized a public hearing to listen to industry experts on what transformations are needed to ensure economically and environmentally sustainable fishing in the future. Important objectives are therefore the diversification of fishermen's income and facilitating their access to EU funding, such as the EMFF.

“The challenge we are facing is to improve the competitiveness of companies, protecting corporate incomes, labor rights and the marine environment, leaving behind the binomial that greater competitiveness necessarily means an increase in fishing effort.” continues the Director Biondo. “Increasing competitiveness through income diversification means instead improvement of profitability, stable employment, generational turnover, increase in the level of training, enhancement of the cultural heritage of fishing, promotion of aggregations through Producer Organizations and supply chain contracts, diversification of tourist activities linked to fishing and integrated into the specific features of the area, involving operators in the design of offshore wind farms, promoting biodiversity and protecting the marine environment. These are the challenges and objectives that accompany the fishing sector today and which, if tackled, will guarantee a sustainable future for this sector from an economic, social and environmental point of view." – concludes Director Biondo.


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