“The new European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund will contribute to improving the situation of the fishing and aquaculture sector in Spain and will allow it to face the future challenges it faces”, commented the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas after the publication in the DOUE last Tuesday, July 13, of the Regulation of this community regulation.
In terms of extractive fishing, the Regulation maintains the possibility of continuing to support the modernization and renewal of engines in vessels under 24 meters in length, the first acquisition of fishing vessels for young fishermen under 40 years of age and compensation for temporary stops and scrapping, “necessary measures to bet on the necessary generational change also in the fishing sector and, above all, to improve hygiene and safety conditions at work,” according to the minister.
It also maintains the same support system that the Local Fisheries Action Groups have had until now. These groups have shown a leading role in the blue economy and in the improvement of the socioeconomic conditions of our coastal towns, thus contributing to the necessary generational change.
European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The news
And as the main novelties, the new standard contemplates:
- The extent of the temporary stops for fishermen on foot, as in the case of shellfish, and support for investment on board ships for reasons of energy efficiency or improvement of working conditions and safety, even if the individual gross tonnage of the vessel increases, provided that there is no an increase in the country’s global fishing capacity.
- Refering to aquaculture, there will be a continuity of the support system and the actions carried out in the 2014-2020 period, which will now be articulated in line with the provisions of the ‘Contribution of Spain to the guidelines for the sustainable development of marine and continental aquaculture of the EU ‘(2021-2030).
- According to the commercialization and transformationSupport is maintained for Producer Organizations, 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 the creation of new products, and support for investments related to energy efficiency or the circular economy will also be maintained, with support to SMEs through grants and through financial instruments for large companies.
- This new fund also gives continuity of the impulse to the conservation and protection of the marine environment, through the possibility of supporting actions within the framework of Marine Strategies and Spatial Planning of the Marine Environment, and the Natura 2000 Network. With a horizontal nature and with influence in all areas, innovation actions will be promoted, using the best available techniques , improving knowledge or training and dissemination of fishing, aquaculture and the marine environment.
- Finally, the new fund grants a more flexibility to Member States to establish support for their priority measures and the countries themselves will establish their actions in terms of sustainable fisheries management, the conservation and protection of the marine environment, innovation, training or the promotion of aquaculture.
Application in Spain
Spain will have a total allocation of 1,120 million euros, keeping intact its importance in the Fund as a Member State. Specifically, it represents 21% of the 5,311 million euros distributed to the Member States for shared management, double that of the next State that receives the most allocation.
At the national level, and in terms of financial distribution, the total amount that will be assigned in the 2021-2027 period to all Management Bodies has already been negotiated with the autonomous communities, which is expected to be approved at the Fisheries Sector Conference of the next July 22.
Actions have also begun to draw up the Operational Program, which will set the specific conditions for access to support in the case of Spain. A first phase of public information has already been carried out, relating to the SWOT analysis and the more strategic focus of the Program, while progress has been continued in the rest of the sections of the aforementioned Operational Program. 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 applied as soon as possible.