16 Jul 2008

Funding for EU fishing industry

12:45 pm on 16 July 2008

European Union fishermen are to get an extra €600 million help to ease a crisis caused by fleet overcapacity and cushion the financial pain caused by high fuel prices.

EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg said on Tuesday he hoped the money would provide short-term relief and also build a more efficient fleet for the future.

The package comes after protests by fishermen across Europe against the price of fuel.

Diesel prices have risen by 240% since 2002. They account for up to 60% of costs for trawlers. Low retail fish prices have not helped also.

The Commission has ruled out the idea of subsidising fuel, which it says would do nothing to help solve the underlying problems of the EU fishing industry.