New European fisheries, aquaculture fund progresses
A provisional political agreement on the European Maritime, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) for the period of 2021-2027 has been reached by the European Commission, Council, and Parliament.
The new package is intended to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, the development of local coastal communities, the promotion of a sustainable blue economy, the implementation of the E.U.'s maritime policy towards safe and sustainably managed seas and oceans, and international ocean governance.
European Union Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius said he welcomed the agreement, saying that EMFAF will invest in improving the health, safety, and working conditions on board fishing vessels, while at the same time ensuring that the E.U. fleet is sustainable.
“We made sure that no subsidy at E.U. level would risk harmful effects leading to overfishing and overcapacity, something the commission has been most vigilant about throughout the process. This agreement also sends a strong signal for the ongoing negotiations on fisheries subsidies at [World Trade Organization] level," he said.
The provisional agreement includes support for investments that enhance the sustainability and safety of the fishing fleet. This has seen the co-legislators agree with safeguards proposed by the commission to prevent the risks of harmful overfishing and overcapacity.
The European Commission, Council, and Parliament also agreed on a crisis management scheme to allow emergency support to the fishery and aquaculture sector in case of a significant disruption of the market.
With the framework for the new EMFAF now complete, it now needs to be formally endorsed by all institutions. Upon final adoption of the E.U. long-term budget for 2021-2027, member states need to finalize their national plans, so that funds can be released.
Photo courtesy of the European Commission