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As a result of the containment imposed by the authorities to limit the progression of the coronavirus, fish consumption is collapsing in European countries. Fishermen are asking for support from states, the European Union … and consumers.
French fishermen are very worried, particularly in Brittany in the north-west of the country: their customers, the fishmongers, no longer buy fresh fish. With hundreds of tonnes of unsold goods and prices that plunged by half, below minimum support prices, including for the noblest fish like sole and turbot, many boats may not leave during the week. next when it’s the best season.
Noble fish that restaurants no longer buy
French fishing no longer finds an outlet in restaurants, which are closed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Added to this is the closure of schools and therefore of school canteens, but also the less frequentation of company canteens since teleworking has become widespread in France.
Ireland and UK also suffer
With a confinement that is becoming widespread in Europe, the entire fisheries sector of the continent is suffering. In Ireland, in the United Kingdom, where the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations speaks of a ” very severe shock to British fishing ” And for good reason: 70% of the catches were exported to Europe, in particular Spain, Italy and France, which therefore closed, and Asia.
China had already dealt a blow to the sector
Asia has already closed its markets to fish imports. Home to the pandemic, China has hit the world’s seafood trade the hardest by ceasing to import shrimp, scallops, lobster and salmon from abroad. Australia has lost a third of its fisheries revenues due to the closure of international markets.
Request to carry over higher quotas
Today, in each of these countries, fishermen are calling on the population to eat local fresh fish. The British are invited to eat less cod imported from Norway for their “fish and chips”, and more monkfish, cuttlefish or whelks that they enjoy eating … in Spain. In France, fishermen are also asking large retailers to play the game. The entire European fishing industry is expecting financial support and a larger carryover of quotas to next year.