On the 14th April the EU ambassadors agreed the Council’s position on a proposal to help tackle the negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the fishery and aquaculture sector by amending the European maritime and fisheries fund (EMFF) and the regulation on the common market organisation (CMO).
The proposal introduced the following specific measures:
- Support in relation to the temporary cessation of fishing activities with a maximum co-financing rate of 75 % of eligible public expenditure;
- Support in relation to the temporary suspension or reduction of aquaculture production and sale;
- Support to producer organisations and associations of producer organisations for the storage of fishery and aquaculture products;
- Increasing the quantities eligible for storage aid to 25 % of the annual quantities of the products concerned.
The Council position added the following amendments to the proposal:
- Inclusion of fishermen on foot (mostly women) as eligible for support in case of temporary cessation;
- Derogation for temporary cessation for new vessels;
- Flexibility in order to use 10% of the budgetary funds allocated to Union Priority 3;
- Granting working capital and compensating the reduction of sales and additional storage costs for aquaculture farmers.