Sustainability at the heart of new European Fisheries Fund
The Commission has welcomed the decision by the Council of
Fisheries Ministers meeting on Wednesday 21st June to adopt
the Regulation on the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) that it
proposed in July 2004.
The EFF, which will replace the current Financial Instrument
for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) from 1st January 2007, has been
tailor-made to secure a sustainable European fishing and aquaculture
industry. Most of the Commission's core proposals have been
retained by Council.
The result is a fund that will both support the industry
as it adapts its fleet to make it more competitive as well
as promote measures to protect and enhance the environment.
The EFF will also help fisheries communities most affected
by the resulting changes to diversify their economic base.
Support will also be reinforced for measures that will ensure
that the industry will continue to have access to the skilled
labour force it requires.
The EFF will run for seven years, with a total budget of
around € 3.8 billion. Funding will be available for all
sectors of the industry, sea and inland fisheries, aquaculture
businesses, producer organisations, and the processing and
marketing sectors, as well as for fisheries areas.
"The agreement reached today strikes the right balance
between helping the sector regain and retain its competitiveness
and support for sustainable and more environmentally friendly
fisheries and aquaculture. The EFF will also help fishing
areas strengthen their economic base," said Commissioner
for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Joe Borg.
The measures which have just been adopted will help meet
the CFP core objectives as agreed under the 2002 CFP reform,
including those on ending public aid that has in the past
contributed to increasing fishing capacity.
The new Fund will have five main priorities:
|| help the fleet adapt fishing capacity and effort to
available fish resources;
||support to the various industry branches;
||aid for organisations which represent the collective
interests of the sector;
||sustainable development of fisheries-dependent areas;
||technical assistance to Member States to facilitate
the delivery of aid.
It will be up to Member States to decide how they allocate
funds between these different priorities.
While many measures presently found in the FIFG will continue
under the EFF, the new Fund also introduces a range of innovative
mechanisms in response to the changing needs of the industry.
These include measures to accompany the implementation of
recovery plans and to encourage more selective fishing methods
alongside funding for local strategies for sustainable development
in fisheries areas.
The new fund provides enhanced aid for inland fisheries
and environmentally friendly aquaculture.
In addition, the Member States will benefit from simpler
implementation rules and greater flexibility in the application
of eligibility criteria, so that they can adjust them more
easily to the needs of their national industries.
In future, Member States will be required to draw up a national
strategic plan for the entire fisheries sector and all assistance
will be channelled through a single national EFF programme,
rather than the many different programmes which often existed
in the past.
The regulation contains a number of measures and amendments
introduced during the process of adoption by Council, including:
||aid for engine replacement on grounds of safety and
fuel efficiency, on condition that the engine power of
the vessels concerned is either equal or smaller depending
on the size and type of vessels;
||extended aid and compensation for both permanent and
temporary cessation of fishing activities, which can now
include such cases as reassignment of vessels to non-fishing
activities and the creation of artificial reefs, closure
of fisheries for public health reasons, or due to high
concentration of juveniles or spawning fish;
||aid in the aquaculture, processing and marketing sectors
to include medium-sized and some large enterprises, though
small and micro enterprises still have to be given priority.
For further information please contact Clare Leverton on
01872 270333 or email: email@example.com.
Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG)
is one of four funding streams that make up the current Objective
One Programme, running from 2000 – 2008. The new European
Fisheries Fund (EFF) will replace FIFG at the beginning of
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