EUROPEAN MARITIME, FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE FUND APPROVED
European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund approved. The Regulation establishing the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) under the EU’s 2021-2027 long-term budget has been adopted by the European Parliament with an overwhelming majority.
The adoption follows a political agreement reached with the Council at the end of 2020. With a total budget of €6 108 billion (2021-2027), the EMFAF will provide financial support to protect, manage and sustainably use the ocean and its resources contributing thus to the objectives of the European Green Deal. This is key to promoting biodiversity, the supply of healthy and sustainable seafood, including from aquaculture, the competitiveness of the blue economy and thriving coastal communities in the EU.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries said:
“I welcome this vote by the European Parliament. The new fund enters into force at an important juncture. The coming years will be crucial for our efforts to making EU fisheries still more sustainable, while securing the livelihoods of our fishermen and women. The EMFAF will also enable us to support the green recovery of Europe’s blue economy and underpin EU’s leading role in promoting sustainable ocean governance worldwide. I now call on Member States to finalise their national programmes as a priority, so together we can continue delivering on our shared commitment to a healthier ocean.”
Of the total budget, €5 311 billion will be provided through national programmes co-financed by the EU budget, whilst €797 million will be managed directly by the Commission promoting horizontal priorities, including in the areas of blue economy and ocean governance.
Members States are expected to finalise their programmes in the coming months, to ensure that the funds can be put to work as soon as possible.
Under the EU’s common fisheries policy, the fund will enable Member States to pursue priorities such as the implementation of the landing obligation, aiming to overcome wasteful discard practices, and strengthening EU’s fisheries control to foster compliance and ensure a level playing for all operators. This also includes support for investment in effective fisheries control tools discussed in the context of the ongoing revision of the EU’s fisheries control system, such as Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.