The European Union wishes to make fishing and fishing fleets more energy efficient and plans to reduce the carbon emissions of fishing vessels to achieve this.
The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) gave its support to Minister of Regional Affairs Madis Kallas for the upcoming meeting of the ministers of agriculture and fisheries of the European Union, saying that fishing fleets in general need to be renewed in order to meet climate targets, and that the current order of financing the Fisheries Fund needs to be changed for this, and Estonia believes additional money from the EU is needed.
For energy transition, it is necessary to amend the fishing fleet capacity ceilings because new alternative fuels and solutions do not fit in the current ceilings. In practice, this means that ships with lower CO2 emissions have to be built larger and more powerful due to new energy solutions, just as electric cars are heavier due to batteries and therefore need a larger engine.
The European Union Affairs Committee amended the positions of the Government in two aspects. Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa-Ly Pakosta said that besides protecting fish stocks, restriction of fishing with quotas also served the targets of achieving more modest emissions of fishing fleets, and therefore the issue should be solved more reasonably.
“The countries that already have fishing quotas should not be forced to deal with replacing engines and thus also vessels,” Pakosta added, and explained that when the volume of fishing is restricted, the engine would not give an advantage – for example, if it was allowed to fish 1000 tons, the capacity of engine would not be decisive for achieving the environment targets.
Therefore, the European Union Affairs Committee amended the positions by adding that Estonia encouraged other countries where this was possible to transfer to fishing quotas because that would make it possible to remove dealing with the engine capacity ceiling from the agenda in the EU.
As another issue, the European Union Affairs Committee discussed the issue of greater participation of women in the fisheries sector. Deputy Chair of the Committee Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski said that the percentage of women involved in the fishing sector is low and there is a wish to increase it. However, the idea of building new cabins for women is not necessary, but rather an example could be taken from the Estonian conscript service, where women and men participate equally and living arrangements are organised sensibly and efficiently.
The position of Estonia is that the technical limitations of fishing vessels do not prevent the participation of women, and vessels do not have to be built larger to accommodate women.
For more information, please contact: Liisa Pakosta +372 502 6191
Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski +372 5332 5999
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