PECH Committee gives backing for European Commission’s plans for EMFAF
The European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee (PECH Committee) has given its backing for the European Commission’s plans for the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) 2021-2027
The €6.1 billion has been made available to qualifying EU Member States and part of the funding will be used for:
– Young fishermen buying first vessel
– Replace or modernise engines –
– Improve safety, working conditions and energy efficiency
– Support for cessation of activity
The Irish fishing industry will miss out on up to €40 million as punishment for alleged breaches into the State’s application of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Part of the Commission’s plans approved by the PECH Committee is to offer fishing vessel owners a decommissioning scheme in cases of a permanent cessation of activity. This would mean that where fishermen’s activities cease permanently, they can be supported to scrap or decommission a vessel. In order to receive compensation, the equivalent fishing capacity is permanently removed from the EU fishing fleet register and the beneficiary must not register any fishing vessel within five years of receiving support.
If fishing activities cease temporarily, fishermen may be granted compensation for a maximum duration of 12 months per vessel or per fisherman during the programming period.
The PECH Committee also voted through the supports for new entrants into the fishing industry.
Member states will need to take into account the specific needs of small-scale coastal fishing, including simplifying administrative requirements.
Also, first acquisition of a fishing vessel or partial ownership (of at least 33%) can be funded if the fisherman is no more than 40 years of age and has worked for at least five years as a fisherman or has acquired the equivalent qualification. Fishermen can purchase small-scale coastal vessels (total length less than 12 metres) that have been registered for three years or vessels up to 24 metres that have been registered for five years.
The EMFAF also provides for small-scale vessel support to replace or modernise engines if the new or modernised engine does not have more power in kW than that of their current engine.
A fishing vessel that is not longer than 24 metres and older than 10 years can have its gross tonnage increased if this results in significant improvements, such as renovating accommodation and other facilities for the well-being of the crew, better on-board fire prevention and safety systems, increased energy efficiency or lower CO2 emissions.
Support may also be granted for storage of fisheries products in exceptional events generating a significant disruption of markets.