An informal deal has been reached on how to disperse the €6.108 billion budget of the 2021-2027 European Maritime Fisheries Fund
Sources suggest that there has been some progress on fisheries in the talks between the EU and the UK.
It is though that the idea centres around UK getting notably increased quotas on stocks that are sold to UK customers whilst EU boats keep similar quotas for pelagic stock such as herring and mackerel that are not so much in demand in the UK.
It has also been reported that the pace of the talks has now suddenly frantic as the Friday deadline approaches.
UK and EU negotiators have been dead locked on the issue of fisheries and a deal offered last Friday by EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier was rejected by the UK but remained on the table.
Barnier’s offer to would have seen the EU fishing fleet handing back to the UK between 15 % to 18% of the value of fish stocks caught by EU boats in UK waters. The UK rejected this saying they wanted 80% rather than what was offered.
This news came as a shock to the Irish fishing industry as nothing of the offer had been discussed with them.
The negotiated text includes provisions to finance investments that will improve safety, energy efficiency and the quality of catches on EU’s fishing vessels. For example, the fund can be used to finance the replacement or modernisation of engines of fishing vessels to increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. It will allow also promote generational renewal in the profession by supporting the first acquisition of vessels by young fishermen.
To contribute to the EU’s food security and reduce dependence on third-countries for fishery products, the negotiators also confirmed the need to further support European aquaculture by encouraging investments in the sector and promoting the quality and added value of such products.
The new EMFAF also includes provisions to help respond to exceptional crises that cause market disruptions e.g. temporary storage measures or compensation for additional costs. Also, for the first time, the new EMFAF includes provisions on strengthening international ocean governance.
The new EMFAF is part of the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 and will co-finance projects (alongside national funds) by 70%.
The negotiated text still needs to go through legal and technical scrutiny before being endorsed by the Council’s Committee of the Permanent Representatives (COREPER) and will then be submitted for final adoption by the Council and the European Parliament, as soon as possible.
Source: Press Release