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Cyprus

Call to modernise island’s fishing industry

feature jon the cost of fuel has added to the fishermen's woes
Problems facing fishermen around the island were heard by MPs

The fishing industry in Cyprus faces serious challenges that need to be addressed as soon as possible, MPs heard on Tuesday.

During a House agriculture committee meeting, MP Charalambos Pazaros said that fishing, along with livestock farming, is declining locally while other countries are modernising the sector.

He also highlighted issues arising “from poor treatment by and cooperation with the Ports Authority.”

He cited the example of Latsi port, where, according to him, Port Authority officials are forbidding boat owners to haul their vessels out of the sea in case of damage or for maintenance during the summer months.

He added that in Liopetri river, fishermen expressed strong grievances over delays in the area’s redevelopment project.

“The completion date of the project remains unknown,” Pazaros said.

“There is information about the re-tendering of offers, and if true, it indicates significant delays resulting in their economic ruin. The fishermen are the ones bearing the brunt for all this and should be compensated for the loss of their income due to others’ responsibilities,” he added.

Regarding Larnaca port, Pazaros said that the dredging process continues, and urged the involved stakeholders to complete the works within the specified timelines.

“Fishermen in Kato Paphos have also reported problems, as they haven’t yet been granted unrestricted access to their vessels with their vehicles throughout the day,” the Disy MP said, adding that fishermen work without fixed hours and their request for unrestricted access to their boats should be granted.

“The most regrettable thing, as noted by the Paphos fishermen, is the misallocation of funds from the European Maritime Fund, approximately €57 million, for projects unrelated to fishing or the sea,” Pazaros said.

“Instead, these funds are being spent on projects irrelevant to the profession, such as paving squares.”

He called for the demands of all fishermen to be examined and answered, and suggestions and measures to be implemented.

“Not only do we want to maintain fishing as a profession, but we also want to develop and modernise it,” Pazaros said.

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