Emmanuel Macron works to reure fishermen

Published on Nov 28, 2023 at 1:43 p.m.Updated Nov. 28, 2023 at 2:10 p.m.

“Our oceans, an absolute storehouse of treasure and opportunity.” This is what Emmanuel Macron argued in 2019 in Montpellier in a speech that was intended to be founding. This Tuesday, it was in Nantes, for a new Conference on the Sea, that the Head of State presented France’s maritime strategy, a strategy eagerly awaited by economic players in the sector.

Fishermen, shipowners, shipbuilders, local elected officials and ociations: these Conferences are intended to address everyone and cover a wide range of subjects, ranging from offshore wind power to the modernization of fishing fleets, including protection oceans.

Around fifty wind farms

On the off-shore wind side, the President of the Republic recalled the objectives he had set during the Belfort speech of 2022 : achieve a power of 40 GW by 2050 (i.e. two thirds of the nuclear power currently produced in France) thanks to the installation of around fifty wind farms including the first call for tenders, on a tranche of 10 GW, will be launched in 2025, confirmed the president.

The question of the location of these 50 parks, both in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic, the English Channel and the North Sea, has not yet been resolved. This is the subject of the debate which has just opened and which should last until April 26 to result in precise implementation maps.

Extension of aid

Facing discontent of fishermen which are experiencing significant fuel increases, the Head of State also announced an extension of aid – 20 cents per liter of fuel – until June 2024.

Finally, the proceeds from the wind tax, 35% of which are allocated to the fishing sector, in particular to modernize the fleet and engines (greening of maritime fuel), should increase from 400 to 700 million by 2035 , due to the increase in the stock. The State is confident in the development of offshore wind power, although industrialists have suffered numerous setbacks in recent months. Rising interest rates, combined with difficulties in wind power supply chains, makes the financial equation for future projects increasingly fragile to the point that some manufacturers are withdrawing from certain calls for tenders abroad.

A fund of 1 billion

The Head of State also announced the launch of a fund of nearly 1 billion, combining private funds (CMA CGM has already promised 200 million) and public funds (the State is committing 500 million) which will be devoted to the modernization of maritime transport: electrification of port infrastructure (connection of docks to electrical terminals), development of sustainable fuels or even improvement of boat propulsion systems for better energy efficiency.

The President of the Republic also spoke of the protection of the seas and the fight against illegal fishing. France must indeed host the United Nations Ocean Conference in Nice in 2025.

In the much nearer future, Emmanuel Macron must go to COP 28 this Friday where he should also discuss this subject with his counterparts present in Dubai.

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