The official season for the tuna harvest begins today. The thirty tuna vessels from Madeira are on land. Shipowners say they do not leave without being assured that there is fish and that there is support from the Regional Government to help with fuel. Fishermen are anxious, as he admits, but shipowners cannot take the risk of losing 30,000 euros in fuel on a trip and not bringing fish to sell.
The Regional Secretariat for Sea and Fisheries was today in Caniçal and found that preparations are underway. The boats are filling up with supplies and food. Jacinto Silva tells JM that his boat has been ready for almost a month and is also full of fuel. However, the shipowners decided to wait for “a decision by the Government or the European Union” to “help with the burning fuel”. He also explains that the temperature of the sea water is not causing there to be shoals. Thus, the shipowners have decided that they will not go to sea for the time being and there is no date for that. “It’s waiting!”, says Jacinto Silva, who explains that he understands the fishermen, who need money, but remembers that the shipowner, when leaving the port, may already be losing money, if, after a few days,
The Secretariat led by Teófilo Cunha recalls that, since 2020 and until the end of 2021, the Regional Executive has granted more than 2 million euros in support to fishermen, shipowners and limpet collectors, including exemption from payment of fees at auctions and warehouses. and the supply of ice, funds that were supported exclusively by the Budget of the Region. These aids do not include the support that the Regional Government gives each year to reduce fuel prices.
To those amounts “it is necessary to add another 2 670 018.07 euros of support, within the scope of the European Fund for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Aquaculture (FEAMPA)”.