Danish fishing industry has asked questions of how the allocation of the EMFAF by the Government
Where is the EMFAF money for the Danish Fishing Industry? Only 28% of EMFAF Funds Allocated
Despite the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) holding a substantial 2.1 billion kroner (€281.5m) from 2021-2027, concerns are rising as only 28% of these funds find their way into the Danish fishing industry.
This stark contrast becomes apparent when comparing the distribution strategy to other EU countries, where more than half of the budget is earmarked for various aspects of the fishing industry.
A recent calculation by TJ-Consult reveals that the EMFAF funds are predominantly directed towards tasks such as watercourse restoration and authority-related activities. Specifically, 60 million kroner (€8m) annually is set aside for watercourse restoration and 153 million kroner (€20.5m) for authority tasks and technical assistance, including electronic monitoring, drones, and data collection, accounting for more than 50% of the funds.
For the Danish fishing industry, the scenario looks grim, with only about 2% allocated for processing and marketing, leaving the actual fishing sector excluded from EMFAF budgets. Poul Melgaard, director of the Danish Seafood Association (DSA), expresses concern, stating, “Since 2018, there has been nothing to catch up on, and we are surprised when other EU countries can easily figure out how to prioritize the industry.”
The Danish Seafood Association emphasises the importance of investing in campaigns to promote fish consumption, citing it as a healthy and climate-friendly alternative to animal proteins. Additionally, updating machinery in factories is seen as a potential area for improvement, enhancing yield, utilization of fish, and reducing water consumption.
Ole Lundberg Larsen, deputy director of the Danish Fishermen’s Association, underscores the need for EMFAF funds to directly benefit the fishing industry. He states, “We miss vessel schemes, and we have recommended and continue to recommend that, in the next period for EMFAF, significantly more funds are set aside for green conversion directly on the vessels.”
Comparing selected EU countries’ budget allocations for EMFAF from 2021-27, Denmark’s 28% for the fishing industry falls behind Germany (47%), the Netherlands (56%), Poland (65%), Spain (63%), Italy (58%), and France (52%).
As negotiations loom for EMFAF funds for 2024-2027, industry stakeholders hope that politicians will reconsider the allocation strategy, ensuring a more substantial portion directly benefits the Danish fishing industry. The Danish Seafood Association suggests that an annual injection of DKK 50 million could make a significant difference.
Selected EU Countries’ Budget Allocations for EMFAF 2021-27:
– Denmark: 2.15 billion DKK (€281.5m), 28% for the fishing industry
– Germany: 2.27 billion DKK (€304m), 47% for the fishing industry
– Netherlands: 0.51 billion DKK (€68m), 56% for the fishing industry
– Poland: 5.5 billion DKK (€737m), 65% for the fishing industry
– Spain: 11.8 billion DKK (€1.6bn), 63% for the fishing industry
– Italy: 7.4 billion DKK (€992m), 58% for the fishing industry
– France: 5.9 billion DKK (€790.8m), 52% for the fishing industry