April 2, 2020


Rules amendment sought to safeguard incomes of EU fish farmers during health crises



The European Parliament Committee on Fisheries (PECH) has called for the swift amendment of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), to better support the fisheries and aquaculture sectors during "public health crises".


In a joint request with the regional development committee, PECH asked that the proposal be adopted directly by plenary via the "urgent procedure", saying this would help provide a quick response to mitigate the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fisheries industry.


The specific amendments to the EMFF, it said, would add "public health crises" to the list of circumstances under which the fund may support mutual funds and stock insurance to safeguard the income of fishermen and aquaculture farmers affected.


"With the agreement of the political groups in the Committee on Fisheries, I asked (European Parliament) President (David) Sassoli to deal with this important file under urgent procedure. This unprecedented crisis requires swift action. Together with the representatives of the groups, we will carry on working to put in place rapid and effective measures to help the aquaculture and fisheries sectors impacted by the Covid-19 crisis", said European Parliament Fisheries Chair Pierre Karleskind.


To amend the EU funding rules, both the Parliament and the European Council (whose members are composed of the heads of state of EU countries, the European Council president and the European Commission president) will need to adopt amendment proposal.


The Parliament is expected to announce soon the details of the urgent procedure.


In this file photo, a man feeds rainbow trouts in a fish farm, which received financial aid from the EU.

IMAGE: Laurent Sazy/European Union