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Coronavirus: GIFAP launches petition imploring government for support

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GIFAP President Hugues Nello (left) and Director General Stéphane Sense: Hope the petition can attract thousands of signatures.

GIFAP, the representative body for the fishing tackle trade in France, has launched a petition imploring the government for greater support for the industry and asking that it declare a state of natural disaster for the beleaguered sector.

In a message to the industry seeking support, GIFAP President Hugues Nello and Director General Stéphane Sence say the petition hopes to secure thousands of signatures before being presented to the government.

The statement, headlined ‘Parliamentarians: Save our retailers, manufacturers and recreational fishing jobs’, calls on anyone working in the recreational fishing sector to help save businesses and jobs by adding their signature.

“In France our sector represents more than 2,000 companies and 10,000 jobs,” it says. “Like many other industries we are confronted with health directives which impose the closure of retail stores and which will consequently lead to the total cessation of the activity during the confinement period.

“The economic consequences for our businesses are all the more important since recreational fishing is a very seasonal activity. The months of March and April correspond to the opening period and alone represent more than a third of annual sales.

“Even internet players in this sector are affected since the National Fishing Federation in France (FNPF) has just prohibited fishing in public waters following the COVID-19 health scare. Nautical activities are also prohibited by decree of the Maritime Prefectures.”

GIFAP acknowledges that government measures to compensate for restricted activity will help, but insists it will not be enough.

“The loss of at least one month’s turnover and more than 30% of annual sales, plus the weight of the fixed charges which remain over the period of confinement, will for some be an insurmountable pitfall and cause a cascade of bankruptcies if additional measures are not decided,” it says.

GIFAP is also urging the government to declare a state of natural disaster for the fishing sector, arguing that only this declaration will make it possible to use business interruption insurance to help cover the impact of the exceptional loss of sales.

“We invite everyone to sign the petition. Let us mobilise for the survival of our fragile industry,” adds GIFAP.

The petition can be found here.

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