The news has just been announced that MEPs adopted in plenary additional measures providing support to EU fishers and aquaculture farmers severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The package of specific temporary measures includes supporting fishers in the sector that have to temporarily stop operating, financial aid for aquaculture producers when production is suspended or reduced, support to producer organisations to temporarily store fishery and aquaculture products, as well as a more flexible reallocation of national operational funds.
Following swift, unprecedented cooperation between the Parliament’s Fisheries Committee and the Presidency of the Council, which led to an informal agreement during the Easter weekend, significant improvements were made to the proposal. These changes will allow support to be given to fishers who have just started their activity and fishers on foot (i.e. those fishing without a boat), provisions for outermost regions to be adapted to deal with the consequences of the crisis, as well as countries that have exhausted all allocated funding to not be penalised, through budgetary flexibility.
The measures will be eligible retroactively as of 1 February 2020 and will be available until 31 December 2020.
Following the final plenary vote, Fisheries Committee Chair, Pierre Karleskind (Renew Europe, FR) said: “This special, interinstitutional cooperation shows how committed the EU is to addressing the consequences of the pandemic on the fisheries sector. The EU can really be present for its citizens when it channels its available resources towards supporting them.”
Source: European Parliament