Romanian fish farmers receive additional coronavirus support
New funding has been allocated to help aquaculture companies in Romania weather the severe shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In line with the European Commission’s strategy to try protect the E.U.’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors, which has included amendments to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), Romania has modified its operational program and allocated EUR 5 million (USD 5.9 million) of public support to compensate aquaculture companies for financial loss caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
To ensure sufficient funds, the country reallocated EUR 1.8 million (USD 2.1 million) from other areas of the EMFF program.
According to the commission, the more than 160 aquaculture farms in Romania that have been economically affected by the coronavirus will benefit from the income support scheme.
The farmers may use the granted compensations to cover their temporary losses. This is intended to ensure that they can continue their activities, and avoid downsizing measures such as staff reduction and the suspension of activities.
Compensation will be based on the average income from sales over the last three years. The minimum support provided will be EUR 15,000 (USD 17,764).
With the coronavirus pandemic putting the E.U.’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors under substantial pressure, many fishers, producers, and processors have been forced to suspend or severely reduce their activities, while the closure of sales venues, markets, outlets, and distribution channels has led to a substantial drop in prices and volumes, the commission said.
It has increased the EMFF by EUR 500 million (USD 592.1 million), with the additional funding forming part of its recovery package in response the pandemic and follows earlier support measures that sought to alleviate the immediate socio-economic impact on the sector.
The funding will support member states’ programs for the years 2021-2024.
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