Galicia gets €51m to promote seafood, aquaculture
By SeafoodSource staff
10 August, 2012
Galicia’s regional Ministry of the Sea has allocated EUR 51 million (USD 63 million) this year to the processing and marketing of seafood, including aquaculture.
Having assigned EUR 19 million (USD 23 million) in May — cofinanced by the European Fisheries Fund and administered with the ministry’s directorate-general for competitiveness and technological innovation — a further EUR 32 million (USD 40 million) is earmarked for 2012 “in order to increase the number of beneficiaries of such aid,” a ministry statement confirmed.
Eligible investment projects must fall within the ministry’s strategic plans, focusing on the modernization and implementation of innovative technologies at existing facilities, as well as establishing new production capabilities.
This larger aid budget is welcomed, given the heavy dependency on fisheries, the primary driver of the Galician economy. Galicia’s seafood industry employs some 38,000 people representing around 52 percent of Spain’s total commercial fishing activities and accounts for 10 percent of European Union commercial fishing activities. While the average Galician fisherman is aged 25 to 54, more than 4,000 women are employed collecting shellfish species during low-tide walks.
In terms of value, Galicia’s annual seafood harvest and production represent 15 percent of the EU total, exceeding Germany, Belgium, Finland, Greece and Sweden combined.
In effect since 5 July, the financial aid conditions stipulate limitations on the amount of individual grants; allowances for changes to the project if modifications don’t harm third parties; provision for the investment to be adjusted if funds utilized amount to less than initially approved, provided the reduction doesn’t affect fundamental aspects of the project or result in a lower quality of delivery; and partial payments or advances of up to 50 percent where the investment demands immediate payment. Special provision is made for advances and partial payments exceeding EUR 18,000 (USD 22,000), though these may not exceed 80 percent of the grant awarded in each budget year.
In 2011, Galicia’s main fresh fish landings weighed 183 million kilograms valued at EUR 474 billion (USD 583 billion).
10 August, 2012