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Damanki pushes for higher fishing quotas shift to 2015


EU Fisheries and Maritime Commissioner, Maria Damanaki. (Photo Credit: EC)

EUROPEAN UNION
Friday, October 10, 2014, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
In the light of Russia’s import ban of European fisheries products, Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, announced today that she would be in favour of a proposal to allow the shift of up to 30 per cent of certain fishing quotas to 2015 in order to support Europe’s fisheries sector in these exceptional circumstances.

Damanaki will ask EU ministers to take a decision on this issue at the upcoming Council for Agriculture and Fisheries taking place on Monday 13 October in Luxemburg.

It was at her initiative that the Russian embargo of EU fisheries products has been put on the agenda of the Council meeting.

“Since Russia has introduced an embargo on imports of European fisheries products this summer, we agreed that we need to help our fisheries sector in Europe – and quick. I urged EU governments to make use of Europe’s maritime and fisheries fund to help producer organisations store fisheries products until new markets can be found. I also raised the possibility of banking more than the regular 10 per cent of unused fishing quota to 2015”, Damanaki wrote on her blog.

“On Monday, I will ask EU ministers at our Council meeting in Luxemburg to act on this. Scientists tell us that quota banking would on the whole have a slightly positive effect for sustainability. So I hope that Ministers will agree to increase the banking of some of this year’s fishing quotas to up to 30 per cent,” the Commissioner added.

Damanki highlights that as the current fishing season will end soon, there is an urgent need of certainty about possibility of such transfers.

“The ball is now in the court of the EU governments to take a decision,” she stressed.

In 2013, the total export value of the banned EU fisheries products was close to EUR 144 million, which represents 2 per cent of total value of the EU's fish and aquaculture annual product.

Russia is the EU's 6th export market for fisheries products. In 2013, EU exports of fisheries products to Russia represented 5 per cent, or EUR 199 million, of total EU fisheries exports. In 2013, fisheries products represented 0.2 per cent of the EU’s overall exports to Russia. 
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