On January 28 th, after several consultations between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, an agreement was voted on the allocation of funding from the European Fund for Maritime Affairs (EMFF) to fishermen who comply with the new requirements of the Common Fisheries Policy fisheries (CFP).
The new CFP obliges European countries to define sustainable fishing quotas in 2015 and prohibit unnecessary discard of fish.
The EMFF is divided into four pillars: Smart, Green Fisheries; Smart, Green Aquaculture; Sustainable and Inclusive Territorial Development; Integrated Maritime Policy.
The goal now is that the provisions of this project will be voted at the first reading and before the European elections in May.
The European Fund will implement the objectives of the new CFP. For instance, the EMFF will support young fishermen under 40 years by providing individual support for installation: up to 75 000 euro if they buy a small-scale or a coastal fishing vessel and if they have professional experience of 5 years in the sector.
In addition, 520 million of euro of the EMFF will be used for data collection. This activity is essential. This activity is used to determine the maximum sustainable rate, which is the largest catch that can be achieved years after years and keeps the size of the fish population to its maximum productivity.
The European Fund for Maritime Affairs will also support the removal, replacement and modernization of engines of boats up to 24 meters. For vessels between 12 and 24 meters, the power of the new engine will have to be lower than the engine replaced. However, an amendment to reintroduce fleet renewal subsidies was rejected.
In order to implement the agreement reached between the European institutions, the EMFF will accompany fishermen to comply with the new rules by encouraging investment in more selective fishing gear or equipment to facilitate the management, landing and conservation of unwanted catches.
The EMFF will also co-finance projects with national funding.
On the legislative calendar, the agreement is currently being voted in Fisheries Committee before being submitted to the vote of Parliament in April.