In line with previous statements I made about the need to actively promote the role of traditional fishermen, I voted in favour of today’s resolution “Management of fishing fleets in the outermost regions”.
It includes a request to allow funding of the Outermost Regions’ artisanal and traditional fishing vessels which land all their catches in ports in the same regions and contribute to local sustainable development.
The same criterion should apply to the traditional fishermen of Malta and Gozo.
This would allow fishermen there to run their operations more effectively, within the limits of sustainable ongoing management of fish stocks.
However new materiel, by itself, cannot resolve the challenges that traditional fishermen face.
They require a fair deal, based on an objective assessment of how fishing quotas originated internationally and were then repartitioned nationally.
The situation of fishermen in small islands is of particular relevance in this context.
Such fishermen must be sure that they will have reasonable access to the stocks of fish earmarked for harvesting. They should be helped to organise professionally, so as to ensure that even if on a small scale, fishing still remains an activity around which their families can earn a decent livelihood.

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