Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Brussels Reaches Agreement On European Fisheries Fund

20th February 2014
Brussels Reaches Agreement On European Fisheries Fund

#Fishing - Draft rules for allocating European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) aid to help fishermen comply with the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) requirements were informally agreed late last month, after several three-way meetings between European Parliament, Council and Commission.

The rules should now be approved at the first reading, before the end of the current parliament.

"This was the final chapter of the negotiations," said rapporteur Alain Cadec. "With the political agreement reached tonight we will have an ambitious European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for 2014-2020. This is a real victory for the European Parliament, which was heeded by the Council and the Commission.

"The tug of war between the institutions in December allowed Parliament to return to the negotiating table with a strong position and reach a very satisfactory agreement regarding in particular the financial breakdown and engine renewal."

Parliament’s negotiators improved the Commission proposal, especially on collecting and managing fisheries data, which are needed for example, to set the Maximum Sustainable Yield required by the new CFP rules (MSY, meaning the largest catch that can be safely taken year after year and which maintains the fish population size at maximum productivity).

MEPs ensured that €520 million - a considerable increase over the original Commission proposal - of the EMFF budget will be earmarked for data collection.

Another negotiating success for Parliament was to require each member state with a significant small-scale coastal fishing fleet to table an action plan setting out a strategy for the development, competitiveness and sustainability of these fisheries, which play a key role in ensuring the vitality of coastal areas.

MEPs also amended the EMFF proposal to allow fishermen under 40 years old to be granted up to €75,000 in individual start-up support if they buy a small-scale and coastal fishing vessel between 5 and 30 years old and have five years' professional experience in the sector.

In addition, Parliament added EMFF support for withdrawing, replacing or modernising engines for vessels up to 24 metres long, including an requirement for those of 12-24 metres that the new engine's power output be less than that of the engine it replaces. However, an amendment to reintroduce fleet renewal subsidies was rejected.

To give effect to Parliament's agreement with the Council on the forthcoming CFP, which obliges member states to set sustainable fishing quotas from 2015 and introduces a ban on discarding unwanted fish, the EMFF will help fishermen to comply with the new rules by supporting investments in more selective fishing gear or equipment to facilitate handling, landing and storage of unwanted catches.

EMFF aid will also be used to improve safety and working conditions, data collection and port infrastructure.

After a plenary vote in October to open negotiations with the Council, the agreement will now be put to a vote in the Fisheries Committee before seeking final approval by the full House in April.

Published in Fishing
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button
Who is Your Sailor Sailor of the Year 2019?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating