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“Hypocrisy” of bluefin tuna subsidies

December 4th, 2009

The Times writes today

The European Union has given out tens of millions of euros to subsidise the Mediterranean tuna fishing fleets despite warnings from scientists that overfishing is pushing the species close to extinction.

“Between 2000 and 2008 a total of €34.5 million (£31.4 million) was given by the EU to support the fishing fleets, Joe Borg, the European Commissioner, revealed after a parliamentary question from a Spanish MEP.”

While the figure is correct, it doesn’t reflect the fact that such subsidies have not been paid since 2003/4. The Common Fisheries Policy was reformed in 2002 and this reform prohibited public subsidies to tuna vessel construction from the end of 2004, and severely restricted the use of public subsidies for vessel modernisation, ensuring any changes would not increase the catch capacity of the vessel.

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