Even the laws of profit and loss have come to the world of distant water fishing agreements.
It is reported that the EU’s fishing agreement with Mauritania cost € 110 million a year. The EU taxpayer pay €70 million of this. Europe’s boat fishing there will pay the remaining € 40 million. Still, not a bad deal, €70 million of taxpayers cash on the table, and you put in €40 million.
It sounds like corporate welfare capitalism a la mode of Franco.
But, the EU, or should I say, Spanish, French and Portugesse, fishing industry is not happy.
The locals want to impose restrictions on the some of the species they catch. They want to restrict the catches of octopuses and squid.
Europe’s industrial fleet claim that stopping the catch of the valuable octopuses and squid will make their fishing un-economic.
That it was not an uneconomic in the first place seems to have escaped most people. Trawling half way across the ocean, burning expensive fuel, in often huge taxpayer financed fishing vessels, gives you a good indication that the fleets was likely not to be economic in the first place.
That this distant water industry in Spain only grew because of bankrolling from Franco’s regime should give you a good sign that the fleet would have never existed without taxpayers’ forced feeding subsidies to a small group of fishermen.
Taxpayers 1 – Crony Capitalism 0
Before you start looking for your tissues to wipe away your crocodile tears, let’s have a look at who will “loose out”.
At the start of this year, these are the names of the vessels who were able to use the last agreement. They came from Spain, France and Portugal.
The Spanish boats included: ALAKRANA, ALBACAN, ALBACORA CUATRO, ALBATUN DOS, ALEXIA, ANA BARAL, BELMA, BOUSO, CELTIC BAY, IBSA QUINTO ,MARAL
And several others from Spain, France and a couple from Portugal.
This fleet has received tens of millions of euros in boat building and modernization grants. Many of these vessels were only built in the first place because of huge EU and Spanish government grants.
Who Wins – Europe’s Taxpayers
Don’t worry. Many of the vessels fish under other EU-fishing partnership agreements. Yes, taxpayers will still bankroll private companies operations, so you can hold back the tears.
There is only one winner from no agreement. Europe’s Taxpayers.