Netherlands

The cutters have been moored at the quay in Urk for months, because fuel is too expensive

The cutter fishery is having a hard time and does not have to count on government support for the increased fuel prices. At least that is how the government formulated it recently. Today something seemed to have changed. Minister Staghouwer (Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality) hinted at a solution for the sector: it “cannot exist that the fishery will disappear from the Netherlands due to a cold remediation”, he said today.

The minister did add that the sector must innovate to be future-proof and become less dependent on fossil fuels. So a small opening, but one that will be of no use to many anglers. One of them is Jan de Boer.

It is early in the morning in the middle of the week and De Boer’s beam trawler is stationary on the Urk quay. Normally the ship is at sea from Monday to Friday catching sole, dab and plaice. But now his cutter has been moored at the quay for months, as has most of the Dutch cutter fleet.

Sailing out is theft from one’s own pocket, say the fishermen. With the current gas oil price, beam trawlers in particular cannot earn a living at sea. According to the Nederlandse Vissersbond, 60 percent of the cutters are stationary. And, according to the union, cutters are added every week. What still sails would sail loss-making in order to retain personnel.

Sellable Pieces UK 33

Several fishermen have already started to dismantle their ship permanently, the crew has been sent home. This is also the case with Jan de Boer. His UK 33 is beaten up in the June sun. The salable pieces of steel have already broken off. “A kilo of stainless steel currently yields about a euro. You have to do something.”

Until recently, Jan de Boer’s ship burned 30,000 liters of gas oil per week. The current price is 1 euro per litre. His fish yield per week amounts to 30,000 euros. And that also includes crew, maintenance and insurance. “You don’t need to have done higher mathematics to see that this is not sustainable for us,” says De Boer.

Fisherman Jan de Boer no longer sees a future in cutter fishing: “If the minister does not come up with some money for us, Urk Urk is no more.”

The cutters have been moored at the quay in Urk for months, because fuel is too expensive
Source link The cutters have been moored at the quay in Urk for months, because fuel is too expensive

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