EU announced new funding opportunities for coastal fishermen.
A potential way to protect fishing and bring new life to coastal regions?
The European Commission announced end of March a new call for fishermen. It targets small-scale coastal fishermen using a fishing vessel of less than 12m overall length with no towed gear. The fishermen can receive support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for a variety of investments.
“If you are using a fishing vessel less than 12 m long and with no towed gear, you can, under certain conditions, benefit from preferential access and higher rates of public support: up to 30 percentage points more in most cases, and up to 35 percentage points more in the EU’s outermost regions and the remote Greek or Croatian islands” stated Mr. Karmenu VELLA, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Fisherman can get detail information on the call and the process of being funded by contacting the EMFF Managing Authority in their home country.
Picture: Traditional fishing boat in the harbor / Source: Pixbay
Aims of the EU call
The call aims to support not only the small-scale fishermen throughout their professional life but as well the fishing community in its development. There are a variety of investment options and measures out of which fisherman can choose, which are divided into 5 main categories: Invest in Fishing Boat & Equipment, Invest in Human Resources, Invest in Fisheries Conservation, Benefit from Collective Projects and Inland Fishing. The EU leaflet lists all the options under the EMMF out of which the fishermen can choose the most appropriate for them. But “since measures are financed jointly by the EU and the Member States, it is up to each Member State to decide, which of these options to open up,” says Mr. Karmenu VELLA, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
Potential benefits of this funding
These funding could set the scene for small-scale fishermen, could protect the fishing and could bring new life to coastal regions if wisely planned by each country. “Coastal fishing offers a way to help the regions which face depopulation, and it would be a shame if we do not embrace this opportunity” emphasised Ruza Tomasic, a Member of the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) and of the Committee on Fisheries (PECH) after the European Parliament backed proposals that would ensure small-scale fishermen and coastal communities are strengthened.
Picture: Small traditional boats in a harbor / Source: Pixbay
The EU call for being funded as a small-scale coastal fisherman was announced on the 29 March 2017 online on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) sections. Although the investment options and measures are diverse, fishermen are advised to get in touch with the national contact points, as it is up to each Member State to decide, which options they will fund. Therefore, Mr. Karmenu VELLA, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries encourages the fishermen to get in touch with their national EMFF managing authority to find out more.
This call could be an efficient way to protect fishing and bring new life to coastal regions and to have a positive impact on the fishermen communities and the surrounding communities. But it remains to be seen, which options each country will choose to fund and how they will implement it, especially Greece and Croatia that are being funded higher.