Published in the DUOE

The European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund will Allow the Necessary Changes to be Made to Meet Future Challenges

Friday 16 July 2021

In the field of extractive fishing, the regulation maintains the possibility of continuing to support the modernisation and renewal of engines in vessels under 24 metres in length, the first purchase of fishing vessels for young fishermen under 40 years of age and compensation for temporary shutdowns and scrapping.

According to the minister, these measures are necessary in order to promote the necessary generational change in the fishing sector and, above all, to improve health and safety conditions at work.

The main new features include the extension of temporary shutdowns to grassroots fishermen, as in the case of shellfish gatherers, and support for investment on board vessels for reasons of energy efficiency or improved working and safety conditions, even if the individual gross tonnage of the vessel increases, as long as this does not lead to an increase in the country's overall fishing capacity.

In relation to aquaculture, there will be a continuity of the support system and actions carried out in the 2014-2020 period, which will now be articulated in line with the "Contribution of Spain to the Guidelines for the Sustainable Development of EU Marine and Inland Aquaculture" (2021-2030).

With regard to marketing and processing, support is maintained for Producer Organisations, both for their new creation and for their actions within the framework of the Production and Marketing Plans. In addition, it will be possible to continue supporting companies in their adaptation to new technologies, in terms of traceability or for new product creation, and support for investments in energy efficiency or the circular economy will also be maintained, with support for SMEs through subsidies and through financial instruments for large companies.

The same system of support is maintained as the Local Fisheries Action Groups have had up to now. These groups have shown a leading role in the blue economy and in improving the socio-economic conditions of our coastal villages, thus contributing to the crucial generational replacement.

This new fund also gives continuity to the promotion of the conservation and protection of the marine environment, through the possibility of supporting actions in the framework of the Marine Strategies and Spatial Planning of the Marine Environment, and the Natura 2000 Network. In a horizontal manner and with influence in all areas, actions will be promoted for innovation, use of the best available techniques, improvement of knowledge or training and dissemination of fisheries, aquaculture and the marine environment.

EMFAF, a key instrument to support the fisheries and aquaculture sector

EMFAF is the key support instrument to address the future challenges of the EU fisheries and aquaculture sector in the 2021-2027 period.

The new fund gives greater flexibility to Member States to establish support for their priority measures, and it will be up to the countries themselves to establish their actions in the areas of sustainable fisheries management, conservation and protection of the marine environment, innovation, training or the promotion of aquaculture.

Implementation of the Fund in Spain

The Fund will continue to be the main instrument of support, not only for the producing, processing and marketing sector, but also for all public and private actors involved in fisheries, aquaculture and the marine environment in general.

Spain will have a total allocation of EUR 1.12 billion, keeping intact its relevance in the Fund as a Member State. Specifically, it represents 21% of 5,311 million distributed to Member States for shared management, twice as much as the next highest allocation.

At the national level, and in terms of financial distribution, the total amount to be allocated in the 2021-2027 period, to all the Management Bodies has already been negotiated with the Autonomous Communities, and is expected to be approved at the Fisheries Sectoral Conference on 22 July.

Work has already begun on drawing up the Operational Programme, which will set out the specific conditions for access to support in the case of Spain. A first phase of public information on the SWOT analysis and the more strategic approach of the Programme has already been carried out, while progress has continued on the rest of the sections of the Operational Programme. The aim is to be able to submit it to a second phase of public information after the summer so that, once approved by the European Commission, it can be implemented as soon as possible.

Non official translation