SPAIN - The European Commission has adopted a key investment package for the Spanish maritime, fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The roughly €1.6 billion available under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for the period 2014-2020 includes around €1.2 billion of EU funding.
Welcoming the adoption, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella stressed the programme's contribution to a sustainable growth: "Investment under this programme will go to Spanish fisheries, aquaculture and maritime projects that are both environmentally sustainable and economically sound. As I saw for myself when I visited Vigo in October, the Spanish fishing sector is an integral part of the socio-economic fabric. I am convinced that the package adopted today will allow Spanish fishermen and fish farmers to face the future with confidence and allow Spanish fishing and coastal communities to thrive."
The adopted Operational Programme (OP) will support the rolling out of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy and Integrated Maritime Policy in Spain. It aims at enhancing resource efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge based fisheries and aquaculture as well as protecting the marine environment in Spain.
In particular, the funding will support investment in the fisheries, aquaculture and processing industries to boost competitiveness and sustainability.
Elements underpinning such a development include adjusting fleet capacity to available resources, reducing energy consumption, developing the production of higher added value products and ensuring environmental sustainability.
In this context, particular attention will be paid to measures reducing the impact of fisheries on the marine environment and to protecting aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems through marine protected areas.
Funding will also go to projects that improve the livelihood of fishing communities by increased support for Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs), and to supporting Spanish public bodies in enforcing CFP rules and providing sound data for the management of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
TheFishSite News Desk