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Blue crab, state of emergency? Clam producers hope so

Fishermen wait for the publication of the decree before singing victory

05, Jan 2024

"We learned from the approval of the budget and the various amendments included the possibility that law 102/2004 could be extended from agriculture to fishing and aquaculture as well. This would be fundamental for us because it would also allow our business to access emergency measures which we have been asking for some time. Despite what some newspapers report, however, we are not yet singing victories: we hope to know, within a week, if and when the possible government declaration regarding the state of emergency/calamity will be official with relevant publication in the Official Journal". Thus, without mincing words, Vadis Paesanti, vice-president of Confcooperative Fedagripesca Emilia-Romagna and head of the fishing and aquaculture sector, photographs the state of things regarding the production of clams decimated by the blue crab plague.

The reference he makes is to the news that has appeared in recent days according to which the declaration of a state of calamity with related remunerations for producers (between Scardovari and Goro) who have lost a large part of their production due to the ravenous crustacean is closer.

Senator Alberto Balboni, of Fratelli d'Italia, who spoke on the issue, gave rise to the allegations (but also to the hopes). "As I announced on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida on the occasion of the assembly of the cooperatives of Goro, Comacchio and Porto Tolle which took place last 3 December - explains Balboni reported by La Nuova Ferrara - with the approval of the Budget Law the amended Legislative Decree 102/2004 in the sense of extending the possibility of obtaining the declaration of a state of disaster to the fishing and aquaculture sector, as well as agriculture, also with specific reference to invasive species, such as the blue crab , which has now devastated the clam and mussel farms of Goro and neighboring municipalities and is putting the entire ecosystem at risk."

"The Minister of Agriculture - adds Balboni - will thus finally be able to declare a state of calamity in relation to the areas affected by the monstrous proliferation of this alien species. It will therefore be possible to suspend mortgages and social security contributions, as well as study specific support measures to companies for their precious and indispensable work in containing the blue crab, obviously in agreement with all the trade associations. I am satisfied with the work carried out - concludes the senator - in the interest of this extraordinary sector of our economy and of listening and interest that Minister Lollobrigida has given us since the first moment this emergency broke out."

Meanwhile, the producers are counting the damage suffered by the blue crab that ate all the available clams, the ones that should have been on the tables of Italians between Christmas and New Year, so to speak. As we announced a few days ago, the results were terrible (read EFA News).

"We managed to satisfy the restaurants, the clams available were 30% of the request - underlines Paesanti -. As for the oysters, which we raise in baskets where the crab cannot penetrate, we made a good sale for the small production that we have. In fact, we have managed to satisfy the restaurants."

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Goro, FE, Italy, 02/01/2024 09:25
EFA News - European Food Agency

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