European Maritime and Fisheries Fund: developing a sustainable blue economy

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund: developing a sustainable blue economy
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The new, streamlined European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the period spanning 2021-2027 was introduced in June 2018 to encourage the development of a sustainable blue economy.

The new tranche of funding for the EU’s maritime and fisheries sector will total €6.4bn and will be focused on the dual aims of encouraging sustainable fishing practices and supporting small-scale fishing operations. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is expected to encourage the development of a sustainable blue economy, support the economies of coastal communities and contribute to job creation across the fisheries sector.

On the introduction of the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Healthy, well-managed oceans are a pre-condition for long-term investments and job creation in fisheries and the broader blue economy. As a global ocean actor and the world’s fifth largest producer of seafood, the European Union has a strong responsibility to protect, conserve and sustainably use the oceans and their resources. The Fund will allow Member States and the Commission to live up to that responsibility and invest into sustainable fisheries, food security, a thriving maritime economy; and healthy and productive seas and oceans.”

In accordance with the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, at least 30% of funding allocated from the 2021-2027 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will be directed to programmes and initiatives aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change and adapting to the changes in the marine ecosystem brought about by global warming. In comparison to the 2014-2020 fund, the new fund aims to provide a greater level of flexibility for Member States to determine how to target funding; as well as better co-ordinated alignment with the EU’s other funding mechanisms.

The EU’s multiannual financial framework 2021-2027, of which the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is a part, will come into effect on 1 January 2021.

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