Trawlers hit a trough

Published: Sunday 30 June 2002

Dwindling fish stocks in the European seas have raised a wave of concern. And in a bid to save these stocks, the European Commission recently proposed drastic cuts in the European Union's (eu) fishing fleet. As a result of this measure thousands of trawlers may be in choppy waters with work opportunities drying up. Amid furore, the commission unveiled plans to cut the total time eu trawlers spend at sea by between 30 and 60 per cent, depending on the fish species and region. The move indicates a reduction of 8,600 vessels. The plan would scrap us $ 428 million in aid planned over the next four years to build vessels or modernise old ones, and fund schemes encouraging fisherfolk to retire or change jobs. Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Ireland blamed industrial fishing by Nordic countries -- mainly to produce fishmeal -- for the crisis.

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