Fishing Giant – Nearly Subsidy Free
Yesterday, I was surprised that Pescanova seemed not to have got a cent in subsidies from the EU or Spain.
After all, this was one of the world’s leading fishing companies, and one famous for developing the commercialization of the distant water fishing, seems to have gone from boom to well publicised bust without hardly any taxpayers support.
Having looked at Europe’s current stock of distant water fleet vessels, many, although not all, received a small fortune of aid from EU taxpayers and mainly corporate welfare handouts for vessels construction and modernization from mainly French and Spanish taxpayers.
€3 billion debts
So, I thought that Pescanova, who are reported to have debts of around 3 billion euros, would have got a few million or so.
I was wrong. Looking at a list of Spain’s reported fishing subsidies, you can see it here, and aid to Pescanova and its subsidiaries, I could only find one subsidy:
ACUINOVA, S.L. 212 CAND00007 212 2 Variación producción por ampliación/modernización explot. existentes PROYECTO DE ADAPTACION DE NURSERY DE DORADAS A CRIADERO DE LANGOSTINOS 2008/2010 €477.182,31
It is interesting that one of the world’s largest fishing companies, with a fleet of around 100 vessels, got so little from the EU/Spanish taxpayer.
Interesting response to the a Parliamentary Question on whether European Taxpayers lost any money when Pescanova collapsed.
It seems they have no idea.
See the question and response.
|15 November 2013|
|Question for written answer|
to the Commission
Chris Davies (ALDE)
|Subject: EU subsidies to Pescanova|
|The Spanish company Pescanova is based in Vigo and is said to own some 120 fishing vessels.|
A report by KPMG has alleged that the company has a negative net worth of EUR 927 million and has, over the years, used various methods to conceal the extent of its debts, said to amount to EUR 3.28 billion. Bankruptcy proceedings have now commenced.
Will the Commission provide details on the subsidies paid from the EU budget to Pescanova or its subsidiaries over the past 20 years?
Today, I put forward Chris Davies MEP forward for the Parliament Magazine MEP of the Year – http://www.mepawards.eu/
(ps: Sarah Ludford MEP with Chris Davies MEP (in the suit)
But, I have spent more than 20 years working on Europe’s fisheries policy, and the text below explains why I think Chris Davies has done an outstanding job as a Parliamentarian.
On 13 July 2011, the European Commission proposed to reform the Common Fisheries Policy. I thought that Commissioner Maria Damanaki’s ambitious package would be clipped by fisheries ministers and members of the fisheries committee.
I had not imagined that Chris Davies MEP, the UK Liberal MEP from the North West of England, would enter the fray. He decided to put the conservation of fish stocks at the heart of the failed CFP and ensure a long term future for the industry.
Chris Davis created a genuine cross party coalition of MEPs together with MEPs Ole Christensen (S&D), Christofer Fjellner (EPP), Mikael Gustafsson (GUE/NGL), Isabella Lövin (Greens/EFA), Anna Rosbach (ECR)
and Nils Torvalds (ALDE), to back the real reform of Europe’s failed Fisheries Policy.
More than a third of all Members of the European Parliament from across all groups and countries joined “Fish for the Future” (http://fishforthefuture.eu/) to end discards and end overfishing. The silent majority spoke up. On 18th December 2012, the European Parliament Fisheries Committee did what many thought it would never do and back and end to discards. MEPs who had never voted, appeared. On 6th February 2013, 502 MEPs overwhelmingly backed an ambitious reform to end the discarding of fish and mandate sustainable fishing levels by 2015. Only 137 MEPs voted against. Whole delegations defied party lists and instead backed Fish for the Future.
Fisheries Ministers were in shock. The Parliament wanted to end the madness of discards and require an end to overfishing by 2015. Quiet deals to smoother reform were no longer an option.
This would not have happened without Fish for the Future. Chris Davies had the audacity to make fisheries make sense, he even went so far as to dress as a fish to explain his case.
This Manchester liberal dared to think the unthinkable and work to bring about a coalition of the willing from all countries and groups to bring about real reform. I never thought it would happen. Without Chris Davies’ drive, energy and focus I know it would never have happened. Fish for the Future gave Europe’s fisheries hope.