The European Commission confirms Portugal will receive €392.6 million from the EMFAF Fund 2021-2027
Following the adoption of the Partnership Agreement 2021-2027 with Portugal, the Commission has adopted the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) programme for Portugal, to implement the EU common fisheries policy (CFP) and EU policy priorities outlined in the European Green Deal.
The total financial allocation for the Portuguese programme 2021-2027 is €539.9 million, of which the EU contribution accounts for €392.6 million.
“I am pleased to announce the adoption of the EMFAF Programme for Portugal, which recognises the sea as a strategic asset with potential for sustainable growth opportunities in various areas, such as research and innovation, employment and social cohesion, with respect to preserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainability. The programme will help modernise the country’s fisheries and blue economy sectors in line with Europe’s green and digital transitions and will promote sustainable aquaculture and processing activities.”
37.2% of the programme’s allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries and the compensation of additional costs in the outermost regions, 35.8% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing, 8.6% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal, island and internal regions, 12.4% will be invested in the outermost regions and 1.3% will be invested in the strengthening of international ocean governance, all contributing to the EU’s environmental and climate objectives.
The programme will support, among other things:
- Sustainable fisheries: investments in fishing vessels to improve safety; health; hygiene, working conditions; energy efficiency and decarbonisation of fishing vessels; measures to improve fisheries infrastructure, in particular in ports; start-up support for young fishers; fisheries control and data collection.
- Sustainable aquaculture: investments in sustainable aquaculture projects and for the diversification of farmed aquaculture species; supporting innovation; decarbonisation in aquaculture and the processing of fisheries and aquaculture products.
- Sustainable blue economy (i.e. economic activities related to seas and oceans): development of coastal areas through Local Action Groups (LAGs).
- International ocean governance: marine knowledge, maritime surveillance and coast guard cooperation.
Azores will focus on support for professionals in the sector by providing them with better working and safety conditions as well as investments in port infrastructure and auction halls. With EMFAF support Azores will continue investing in research and innovation in aquaculture and will also focus on aquaculture production.
Madeira will support investments in start-up support for young fishers, investments on board to promote health and safety, which may include collective actions, as well as investments in fishing ports and landing sites. EMFAF support in aquaculture will focus on technological innovation, paving the way for organic aquaculture and greater sustainability in production.
Main expected outcomes until 2027
The Portuguese EMFAF programme will contribute to the EU policy priorities outlined in the European Green Deal, Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.
The programme will support the resilience of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, including through financial contributions to the adaptation and restructuring of the fleet and investments in infrastructure aiming to improve working conditions, setting up infrastructure to support aquaculture, in particular offshore aquaculture, digitalise the management of fishing ports; introducing innovative solutions for the processing and marketing of fish.
The programme will support the green transition of the sector with investments in energy efficiency, decarbonisation and green energy transition and digitalisation of activities, in line with the Portuguese national decarbonisation roadmap and the objectives of the European Green Deal.
Portugal also plans on investing in the development of green infrastructure that helps preserve biodiversity, coastal ecosystems and landscapes.
The digital transition is well covered in the Portuguese programme with investments included in fisheries, processing and marketing, aquaculture and small-scale fisheries.
The programme will contribute to good environmental status through the implementation, management and monitoring of marine protected areas (MPAs), the design, monitoring and updating of fisheries management plans in MPAs, NATURA 2000 sites, spatial protection areas and other areas identified for that purpose.
The EMFAF programme benefits from a good collaboration between the European Commission, national managing authorities and local partners. It will support community-led local development strategies (CLLDs), a bottom-up approach to policy development that encourages local people to form a Local Action Group (LAG) and get involved.
The EMFAF runs from 2021 to 2027 and supports the EU common fisheries policy (CFP), the EU maritime policy and the EU agenda for international ocean governance. The fund helps achieve sustainable fisheries and conserve marine biological resources.
Article 8 of the EMFAF Regulation (EU) 2021/1139 requires Member States to produce a national implementation programme for the EMFAF. This operational programme focuses on EU priorities, laying down the strategy and investment priorities, including the indicative annual financial allocation for each priority. The programme is subject to approval by the European Commission.