Fuel protests spread across Europe

Europe's largest fishing fleet has gone on strike.

    Protesting fishermen gave away their catch during a rally in Madrid [EPA]
    The Spanish strike was set to coincide with a mass demonstration outside the environment, agriculture and fisheries ministry in Madrid, where fishermen gave out 20 tons of fish free in an attempt to draw attention to the ailing industry.
    Cepesca, a fisheries association, has predicted a fish shortage by mid-June if the strike persists.
    Spain is considered Europe's largest fishing fleet.
    Dwindling stocks
    In Belgium, a group of fishermen staged a loud protest in front of the EU Council, lighting flares and popping firecrackers.
    The European Commission has said fuel costs for fishermen have surged by 240 per cent since 2004, and urged EU governments on Thursday to downsize fishing fleets to rescue their already troubled fishing sectors.
    European nations have seen decades of dwindling stocks of cod, tuna, herring, plaice and other species because of significant overfishing and illegal fishing.
    Also in Brussels, the European Fishing Action Group, a collection of fishermen's unions from several European countries, called held a meeting to discuss the situation.
    In recent years, the European Commission has repeatedly urged governments to restructure their fishing industries by cutting down on the number of fishing vessels.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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