Algarve fishermen up in arms against skyrocketing fuel prices
Algarve fishermen are “apprehensive” about the increase in fuel prices which could force larger, more powerful fishing vessels to remain moored.
Miguel Cardoso, president of the Algarve Organisation of Fishing Producers (Olhãopesca), told Lusa news agency that the sector is in talks with the government regarding “support and mitigation measures” to help deal with the increase in energy and fuel prices.
As he explained, fuel prices have been increasing gradually and ‘taken away’ from the earnings of shipowners and fishermen.
“A year ago, a litre of diesel cost around 50 cents and now it costs €1,” alerted Cardoso, adding that while the whole sector is being affected, fishing trawlers are the most affected as they are larger, more powerful, and require more fuel.
The possibility of simply leaving these boats moored is not being considered just yet, but “trawlers could be forced to stop if these increases continue,” the Olhãopesca president said, adding that taking the boats out to sea will stop being viable.
Fishermen in Spain have already gone on strike against the price hikes and threatened that the same could very well happen in the Algarve soon.
“We are waiting at any moment for measures to help us face this situation,” said.
Cardoso also explained that prices at fish markets will not increase because the system revolves around demand and supply and does not reflect the increase in production costs, leading to a “constant decrease in income” for shipowners and fishermen.
He added that the Ministry of Sea has said several support proposals have been presented to the European Commission and approved by 21 countries. For now, he is still unaware of the details but is hoping news will come soon.