IF EUROPE ADOPTS THE PHASE OUT OF DEEP-SEA BOTTOM TRAWLING, WILL JOBS BE LOST?

A publication of BLOOM and Oceana

 

NO.

On the contrary, if fleets agree to convert to long-lining, like the European Commission proposes, they would switch to a fishing gear which is 6 times more job-intensive than deep-sea bottom trawling, as a new study by the New Economics Foundation has just shown. http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/our-deep-seas-are-in-deep-trouble-will-meps-protect-them.

 

How many jobs are linked to deep-sea fishing activities in France and/or Lorient?

• Actually, about 98.5% of the French deep-sea catch is caught by 9 ships, equivalent to 0.1% of the total French fleet.

• According to BLOOM, employment directly linked to deep-sea fishing activity (the catch of deep-sea species represents 25 to 40% of the ships’ activity) is estimated to be 44 FTE for the whole of France, not just Lorient.

• Whether taking the full crew of ships (112 FTE) of a crew figure based on the percentage of the catch made up of deep-sea species (44 FTE), deep-sea fisheries contribute 0.2 to 0.5% to the total French fishermen employment.

• A full assessment of total direct and indirect jobs induced by the catch of deep-sea species (processing, logistics etc.) is comprised between 132 and 470 jobs in France according to the initial figure used and to the multiplying value.

• The recent example of Euronor, the Boulogne-sur-Mer based industrial fleet that hardly engages in deep-sea fisheries any longer shows that even without changing fishing gear, a simple change in the fishing strategy can result in decreased dependence on deep-sea species, a total absence of impacts on jobs and a clear improvement of business results.

How come the fishing industry and Lorient’s public authorities come up with much higher job figures?

These quotes below indeed show that not only the job estimation by the industry is much higher than ours, but also that their own figures have increased fivefold over a year:
“For deep-sea species, 250 jobs are directly concerned. But if we talk about the incidence on the fishing port, it’s 600 direct and indirect jobs.”
Jean-Pierre Le Visage, Director of exploitation, Scapêche. AFP press release on July 20th 2012.

 

“In Lorient alone and its region, the [deep-sea fishing] activity would represent nearly 3000 jobs.”
Arte Channel News, 18 November 2013

 

◊ Estimations were made according to a scenario of a complete ban on all deep-sea fisheries, which no one as ever proposed nor even mentioned

• Lorient’s municipality has commissioned a socio-economic impact assessment to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) to estimate the amount of jobs linked to deep-sea fisheries in Lorient. The assessment, released in June 2012, produced an estimate of 600 jobs.

• From the instant the European Commission released its proposal on July 19th 2012, the Lorient municipality, the Scapêche fleet and its close political collaborators have been communicating on this biased and extremely inflated job estimation saying those jobs were “at stake”.

• Unfortunately, the assessment only looks at one scenario for the Lorient region: all deep-sea fisheries coming to a complete halt although the EU Commission has never proposed closing down all deep-sea fisheries but simply suggested avoiding the fast destruction of vulnerable ecosystems through the elimination of the most destructive fishing gear.

• It turns out that the European Commission has explicitly said public funds would be available for the conversion to other fishing gear, namely long lining which would actually lead to the CREATION OF JOBS.

◊ How was the estimation established in the first place?

This is the question we have asked ourselves as well so we asked…

• The estimates of the PwC study being extraordinarily high, BLOOM has requested Lorient and PwC to provide the calculation methodology for these estimates. The answer was that it was “confidential”! (See the response here).

• On close examination of the PwC document, it appears that the “deep-sea species” whose importance the document seeks to assess are nowhere to be defined with clarity. On the contrary, shallow water species are integrated so that the document concerns large-scale fisheries in general. This methodology flaw demonstrates that the PwC study is biased and unreliable.

◊  What is the true importance of deep-sea species in Lorient and other ports?

2011 French landings of blue ling, black scabbardfish and roundnose grenadier based on FranceAgriMer documents.

Capture d’écran 2013-11-21 à 17.03.16

Results

LORIENT: About 18% of all fish sold at Lorient’s auction house are deep-sea fish, but deep-sea species only represent 3% of all the fish that are traded and processed in Lorient.

BOULOGNE-SUR-MER: Less than 3% of all fish sold at Boulogne-sur-Mer’s auction house are deep-sea fish, but deep-sea species only represent 0.2% of all the fish that are traded and processed in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

  • Saying that 3% of deep-sea fish (about 3000 tonnes) lead to 600 jobs means 19 750 jobs would be created by the 100,000 tonnes that go through Lorient every year. Problem: the WHOLE fishing sector in France employs for the year 2011 a total of 18 617 people (12 823 in FTE)![1]
  • To further claim that these 3% create 3000 jobs would mean that the 100,000 tonnes of fish that transit through the port and get processed every year would lead to 100,000 jobs, which is of course unrealistic.
  • Even the socio-economic study of jobs that Lorient has commissioned to PwC recognizes that “fisheries, aquaculture, processing and other activities represent 3.3%” of the Lorient area employment, i.e. a total of 3000 jobs. Deep-sea fish represent about 3% of that total, i.e. about 90 jobs, a figure in line with what industrial fishermen representatives mentioned during the Grenelle de la Mer for deep-sea fisheries.
[1] This figure is based on the fleets’ own recurrent statements in the press. See Claire Nouvian’s presentation before the European Parliament’s PECH Committee on 19/02/13: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201302/20130220ATT61452/20130220ATT61452EN.pdf. There are 7305 ships in total in France. From: Chiffres clef du secteur de la pêche 2012 – http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Chiffres_cle_peche.pdf
[2] See BLOOM’s analysis: http://www.bloomassociation.org/en/employment-the-last-joker-of-the-french-deep-sea-fishing-industry/
[3] See : Chiffres clef du secteur de la pêche 2012 – http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Chiffres_cle_peche.pdf
[4] Multipliers here are for the low bracket: 1 job at sea created 2 jobs on land, the high bracket is 1 job at sea creates 3.2 jobs on land; This is recognized by fisheries economists as being a high value for industrial ships in industrialized nations.
[5] See the account analysis of the three main French deep-sea fleets, comparing subsidies and operating results: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201302/20130220ATT61452/20130220ATT61452EN.pdf.
[6]http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hBBEp15hFn2_xZB3zIChTbWBd-Mg?docId=CNG.db78ac929e2a9e8360e224818a5fe91e.2c1
[7]This impression is even confirmed here: http://www.espacedatapresse.com/fil_datapresse/consultation_cp.jsp?ant=reseau_2743043
[8]
European Commission, The 2011 Annual Economic Report on the EU Fishing Fleet, (STECF-11-16),

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