Expo News: Sustainability and innovation keys of the EMFF

By

Pilar Caride, SeafoodSourcecontributing editor, reporting from Vigo, Spain

Published on
September 23, 2014

The European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is geared toward supporting Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) through sustainability and innovation in EU fisheries, a member of the commission told the crowd at Seafood Expo Southern Europe.

The message was part of a presentation, “Support for Processing, Marketing and Commercialization of Seafood Products under the Common Fisheries Policy 2014-2020,” from the commission’s Miguel Peña (pictured) on the first day of the Expo. The fund will have an allocation of EUR 6.3 billion (USD 8.35 billion) which are distributed in EUR 5.75 billion (USD 7.3 billion) under “shared management” and EUR 647.4 million under “direct management.” Of the funds, EUR 1.1 million is earmarked for Spain to invest in eligible projects in the frame of the EMFF 2014-2020.

During his presentation Peña said that this new EMFF is focused especially on the marine conservation from a sustainability and innovation point of view. He added that more than EUR 4 billion (USD 5.1 billion) of the resources under shared management is allocated to the sustainable development of fisheries, aquaculture and fisheries areas, to marketing and processing activities.

After his presentation, Peña told SeafoodSource, “The idea is not so much the conservation in the short term as the sustainability in the long term. And sustainability not only understood from an environmental approach but also in an economic and social one. The idea is, we first put things in order from an environmental point of view; and, once the stocks are better they generate more catches; and on having generated more catches it improves the economic situation of the sector and generates more employment."

Regarding supporting investments in the processing of fishery and aquaculture products, Miguel Peña explained that the EMFF may support projects which contribute to energy saving or reducing the impact on the environment, or improve safety, hygiene, health and working conditions, among others. He also noted the EMFF may support investments aimed at finding new markets and improving the conditions for the placing on the market of fishery and aquaculture products.

On the other hand, unlike previous European maritime funds, this one discontinues support for the construction, extension, equipment and modernization of enterprises, he said.

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