Wednesday 23rd of October 2013, new rules have been adopted by MEPs on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The main objective of the programme is the development of a sustainable fisheries model eliminating overfishing and well managing the fleet capacity, without compromising the work of fishermen.
The next Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will be implemented by this programme, the EMFF, following the European Fisheries Fund and the financial instrument of the Integrated Maritime Policy. The EMFF is divided into four pillars: Smart, Green Fisheries; Smart, Green Aquaculture; Sustainable and Inclusive Territorial Development; Integrated Maritime Policy.
More specifically, this fund aims at allowing fishermen to comply with new regulations. It means respecting the prohibition of discard in the sea, improving safety and working conditions, a better collection of data and the improvement of harbour infrastructures.
The CFP requires Member States to set sustainable fishing quotas from 2015 and to introduce a ban on discarding unwanted fish. Therefore, the fund supports investments in more appropriate fishing equipments to make the handling, landing and storage of unwanted catches easier.
In order to ensure a better fishing management, and to make new rules apply, the EMFF will finance the collection and the management of data related to fishing. The modernizing of engines, not the renewal of the fleet as the MEPs voted, is also an objective. The withdrawing, replacing or modernising engines will be done provided that the new engine’s power output is at least 40 % less than the one it replaces.
The support for young fishermen is also part of the EMFF. MEPs amended the proposal. Fishermen under 35 years can benefit from a support up to 100 000 Euro in individual start-up. Two conditions must be fulfilled: to buy a small-scale and coastal fishing vessel of between 5 and 20 years old and to have a professional experience of five years in the sector.
Negotiations with the Council on the EMFF should start in the following weeks. The Fisheries Committee will have to approve every agreement on this 6,5 billion Euros Fund.