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The ECR Group welcomes the EU lifeline for small-scale fisheries

22 February 2021

The ECR Group welcomes the EU lifeline for small-scale fisheries

ECR Shadow rapporteur in the Committee on Fisheries Ruža Tomašić has praised the adoption of the provisional inter-institutional agreement on the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) in the committee on Fisheries as a success, particularly for the small-scale inshore fishing sector.

The negotiated text aims to simplify processes, unlock funds and improve results. Member States will now need to take into account the specific needs of small-scale coastal fishing. Additionally, if fishermen’s activities cease permanently, they can receive compensation to go towards scrapping vessels.Ms Tomašić welcomes that the EMFAF may support the temporary cessation of fishing activities for up to 12 months per fishermen or per vessel during the programming period.

Speaking after the vote, ECR Shadow Rapporteur Ruža Tomašić commented:

“With current challenges such as the hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, the future structural changes in the sector, due to Brexit on the one hand and the Green deal with ambitious goals on the other, now, more than ever, support from the EU is crucial for fisheries and aquaculture.

“At least 15% of the money Member states will have to spend on efficient fisheries control, including fighting against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing). The first acquisition of a fishing vessel can be funded if the fisherman is no more than 40 years of age and has worked for at least five years as a fisherman.”

The European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) for the period 2021-2027 amounts to 6.1 billion EUR (6.108 billion EUR in current prices). 5.3 billion EUR will be allocated to the management of fisheries, aquaculture and fishing fleets, while the remaining sum will cover measures such as scientific advice, controls, maritime surveillance and security.

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