December 11, 2020


EU reaches agreement on advancing fisheries, aquaculture sector



The European Commission, Council and Parliament has reached a provisional political agreement on the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) that aims to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for the period of 2021 to 2027.


The new package will support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, the development of local coastal communities, the promotion of a sustainable blue economy, the implementation of the European Union's maritime policy towards safe and sustainably managed seas and oceans, and international ocean governance.


Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU commissioner on environment, oceans and fisheries, said he welcomed the agreement, saying that EMFAF will invest in improving the health, safety and working conditions on fishing vessels while, at the same time, ensuring that fleets in the EU are sustainable.


"We made sure that no subsidy at EU 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 Organisation level," Sinkevičius said.


The provisional agreement included support for investments that enhanced 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 in the market.


Member states need to finalise their national plans, so that funds can be released for the term budget for 2021 to 2027.


With the completion of the framework for EMFAF, the provisional agreement now needs to be formally endorsed by all institutions.


 - SeafoodSource

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