Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-10-25-Speech-4-159"

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"Mr President, poor, small fishermen are missing out because there are too many big rich fishermen. The European Union is suffering from severe excess capacity in the fishing industry, and is solving this problem by shifting some of the production to developing countries. Instead of modernising the fisheries sector, more than EUR 1 billion of government money is being spent on doing so every year. Naturally, the governments of poor countries are delighted to receive large sums of money for allowing large-scale fishing in their waters. However, it is better to facilitate the development of the indigenous fishing industry in economically weak countries than it is to let local fishermen bob about in their boats while the enormous proceeds from the catches are credited to the accounts of big European ship-owners. The precise consequences for fish stocks and the environment are unfortunately still unknown. However, it is certain that small, local operations will not be able to compete without subsidies or state support, and will thus continue to suffer a marginal existence. The Spanish and Portuguese fleets in particular will have to be curtailed in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, there must be much stricter supervision of the way in which the developing countries spend their compensation payments. This spending must fit in with the policy of targeted poverty reduction. Local fisheries must also be involved in the spending to a much greater extent. The European fisheries policy must be brought much more closely in line with European development policy. The European Union must systematically provide technical assistance for transferring knowledge about fisheries resources to developing countries. Most importantly, the poor countries must gain the know-how, the capacity and the investment they need in order to be able to fish in their own waters in a responsible way. In the longer term we must move away from these fishing agreements, which maintain redundant European fishermen but which cause developing countries to miss out."@en1

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