EU INCREASE MARITIME AND FISHERIES FUND BY €500m.
The European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius, has announced that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is to be increased by €500 million.
“The additional funding is part of the EU Recovery Package and follows earlier support measures to alleviate the immediate socio-economic impact on the sector,” the Commissioner said, announcing that the Commission will work closely with EU countries “to ensure that the additional funding contributes to a swift recovery, in line with the European Green Deal and the ambitions of the Common Fisheries Policy.”
He said that, for many coastal communities, who strongly rely on fisheries for their livelihoods, the social-economic impact of the coronavirus crisis was – and still is – dramatic. “Businesses suffered severe losses because of the lockdown and the disruption of the European seafood market. With measures including support for temporary cessation, storage aid and temporary state aid, the Commission had swiftly taken actions to avoid a worst-case scenario.
“The Commission is moving to a second phase of action, which is to support the recovery. As part of the Recovery Instrument, the EMFF budget is strengthened with an additional €500 million. This is an increase of more than 8% compared to the budget initially proposed for the EMFF in 2018. This additional money will feed Member States’ programmes for 2021-2024, frontloading financial support in the crucial first years of recovery.
“Member States will have to channel this investment to the objectives of the European recovery plan.”
The MARINE TIMES asked the Department of the Marine if Minister Creed will apply this EMFF increase to benefit the fishing fleet in Ireland. The Department replied: "This proposal is a Commission proposal and would fall to be funded as part of the Multi-annual Financial Framework. The proposal is subject to detailed negotiations and approval by the Heads of State in Council and European Parliament. Once the new Multi Annual Financial Framework is agreed the issue of allocation under individual funds, such as the EMFAF arises. Once the funding allocations are determined ,Ireland will make full use of such increased allocation to support the recovery and sustainable development of our seafood sector over the 2021-27 period."
SCOTLAND GIVES EXTRA HELP TO INSHORE FISHERMEN
The Scottish Government is giving extra fishing quotas to it inshore sector to help overcome difficulties these boats encountered due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. Boats which usually target shellfish will be allowed diversify into new markets, which it is estimated could be equivalent to a stg£2m.financial injection to the sector. The additional fish quotas will be allowed in the North Sea and on the West Coast of Scotland. Scotland’s seafood fishing sector has been hard hit due to the collapse of the international shellfish market, causing significant challenges for families, businesses and local communities in some of the most remote rural and island communities, the Scottish Government said in making its announced that an additional 800 tonnes of mackerel – 500 tonnes in the North Sea and 300 tonnes on the West Coast, as well as additional demersal quotas including haddock, anglerfish, whiting, pollack, saithe, ling, lemon sole and skates and rays for the North Sea and West of Scotland would be available.
NEW AQUACULTURE STRATEGY IN ENGLAND
Seafood 2040 Aquaculture Leadership Group in England has designed a programme to expand aquaculture in England over the next 20 years. Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd has been appointed to develop the strategy and will work with the Seafood Group to shape the project and the means to deliver it. The Seafood 2040 Strategic Framework was created following the establishment of a Task Force representing all sectors of the seafood sector in England in October 2015. Its focus is to shape a long-term ambition to realise the full potential of industry by 2040. The programme is facilitated by Seafish, funded by the European Maritime Fisheries Fund and supported by Defra and England’s seafood industry. The Governmental Seafish agency report four years ago said there was significant potential for the development of mussel, clam and scallop farming. This is well established in South-West England, as well as oyster growing in parts of the South-East. It also highlighted other specialist seafood farming possibilities.