COVID-19: Fishermen are vital professionals and need to move without restrictions

30 Mar 2020


As Covid-19 is spreading and affecting Europe and the world, countries have been heavily restricting movements of people inside and outside the EU.

On 27 March 2020, European social partners of the fisheries sector wrote a joint letter to the European Commission to take urgent measures. Fishermen need to be able to travel to their work across borders, as they are supplying food in these difficult times.

The European and national authorities shall find quick solutions to facilitate crew changes, as these workers should be considered vital professionals in the current situation.

The protection of fishermen’s health is paramount: a strict observation of the health recommendations, the use of PPE and proper health monitoring before getting and while on-board must be observed at all times.

Similarly to the shipping industry, social partners support amendments to the usual rules in terms of the maximum period of service and fishermen’s certificates, to allow the industry to continue operating.

The joint letter can be downloaded here.