Italy and Lithuania secure new fisheries, aquaculture funding

A port in Sicily, Italy.

Italy and Lithuania have become the latest countries to adopt European Maritime, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) programs and will receive EUR 518.2 million (USD 517 million) and EUR 61.2 million (USD 61.1 million) respectively in E.U. funding over the next six years.

The total financial allocation for the Italian program is EUR 987.2 million (USD 986 million), while Lithuania’s is EUR 87.4 million (USD 87.2 million).

According to the European Commission, 49.8 percent of Italy’s program’s allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries; 32.8 percent will go to sustainable aquaculture, processing, and marketing; 10 percent will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal, island, and internal regions; and 1.4 percent will be invested in the strengthening of international ocean governance.

E.U. Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said the adoption of the EMFAF program for Italy which will support sustainable investments in aquaculture and fisheries and accelerate the green and digital transition of the sector.

“The program will support the protection and restoration of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems. It will also promote sustainable aquaculture and processing activities as well as stronger fisheries, aquaculture, and processing sectors in Italy,” he said.

In regard to Lithuania’s EMFAF program, Sinkevičius said the funding would help modernize the country’s fisheries and blue economy sectors in line with Europe’s green and digital transitions.

“I am confident that the program will boost sustainable productivity of aquaculture and diversify business developments in coastal areas,” he said.

It is built upon several ambitions, adapted to the context of the Lithuanian sea basins and inland waters, including improving the overall resilience of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors through investments, and increasing the environmental efficiency of aquaculture.

About 38.5 percent of the total EMFAF allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries and the restoration and conservation of aquatic biological resources, 35 percent in aquaculture, and 7.4 percent in processing and marketing.

The program sets a target for aquaculture enterprises to use at least 25 percent of renewable energy by 2030, and organic aquaculture will be particularly supported with the aim to increase production by 39 percent.

To ensure effective implementation of the E.U. common fisheries policy, Lithuania will also dedicate around 18 percent of its EMFAF budget to scientific data collection and fisheries control and enforcement, in particular supporting digitalization to improve traceability along the value chain.

Photo courtesy of J2F/Shutterstock


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