ClientEarth’s position on fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector
Harmful subsidies in fisheries artificially increase profits by reducing the cost of fishing and/or by increasing fishers’ revenue, resulting in overcapacity and overfishing.
- Fuel exemptions are harmful subsidies that reduce the costs of fishing and therefore lead to an increase of fishing capacity. In a situation where stocks are not at sustainable levels, fuel exemptions contribute to overfishing. By reducing the costs of fishing, fuel subsidies also contribute to keeping people in the sector artificially, wastefully delaying an inevitable economic transition.
- Fuel exemptions in the fisheries sector should be eliminated through the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive (ETD). Fuel exemptions should also be tackled in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations on elimintating harmful fisheries subsidies.
- Eliminating fuel exemptions is compatible with – indeed is part of – making fisheries in Europe sustainable.
- Support should be redirected to low-impact fishers in Europe, who are simultaneously the most vulnerable and vital.
- The first step is to give favourable access to our fisheries to small-scale, low-impact fishers, including access to quotas, which to them means accessing the very resources that allow them to make a living.
- In order to achieve environmental sustainability in EU fisheries, support should be designed to target small-scale fisheries that operate in a way that minimises their impact on the environment.