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The Commission has adopted the EMFAF Programme for Finland. Photo:

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Following the adoption of the Partnership Agreement 2021-2027 with Finland, the Commission has adopted the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programme for Finland, to implement the EU common fisheries policy (CFP) and EU policy priorities outlined in the European Green Deal.

The total financial allocation for the Finnish programme 2021-2027 is €140.3 million over the next six years, of which the EU contribution accounts for €71.8 million. The fund will promote sustainable growth of Finland’s fishing and aquaculture sector and by stimulating modernisation and innovation.

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Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said:

“I am delighted to announce this new EMFAF programme that will support innovative projects in Finland, accelerating a green and digital transition of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.Finland is a strong promoter of sustainability and modernisation. I am confident that the programme willsafeguard the marine environment  and conditions for maintaining fish stocks, while supporting the industry’s profitability.

More concretely, the programme will support, among others: the availability of domestic fish and the development of small-scale fishing activities; research and innovation to improve efficiency and digitalisation across the entire value chain; and the protection of biodiversity and the state of fish stocks.

EMFAF supports competitive and innovative fisheries and aquaculture

The programme is built upon several “ambitions”, adapted to the context of the Finnish sea basins and inland waters

  • support the sustainable growth of Finland’s fisheries sector by investing in projects that safeguard the conditions for primary production conditions and that stimulate innovation and digitalisation
  • protect marine biodiversity and promote sustainable practices to ensure the sustainable use of fish stocks and robust environmental standards
  • double Finnish aquaculture production by 2030, in line with the EU aquaculture 2021-2030 strategic guidelines through the development of licensing, location management, circular economy solutions, new technologies and emission-based permits.
  • improve the resilience and profitability of the aquaculture and processing sector and contribute to improving traceability and control of fish products.
Main expected outcomes for 2021-2027

The programme aims to increase Finnish fish consumption to two doses per person per week by 2030. The programme also plans to stimulate modernisation and innovation and to reinforce environmental protection.

EMFAF also strives to improve collective knowledge on fisheries and boost innovation through partnerships between enterprises and between private and public actors.

The programme envisages research and development projects to contribute to the protection of biodiversity and restoration of aquatic ecosystems. These projects will support the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Finnish Prioritised Action Framework objectives.

33% of the total EMFAF allocation will be dedicated to environmental measures and investments and 20% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture, contributing to the EU’s environmental and climate objectives. Endangered fish species will be protected by improving the selectivity of fishing and marine life will be better protected by the removal of lost fishing gear and marine litter generally.

Coastal fishing communities will benefit from the fund thanks to actions facilitating access to local fishing permits for private waters and promoting the recruitment of new fishermen.

Overall, the Finnish EMFAF programme will strengthen the resilience of the fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors by helping stakeholders to improve productivity and profitability at the same time as fulfilling their environmental and climate responsibilities. The fund also provides a safety net in times of crisis by mitigating the knock-on effects experienced by the sector, as seen from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Commission adopts €140 million EMFAF programme for Finland

by editor time to read: 6 min