Europe reaches out to small-scale fishermen
The EU is reaching out to small-scale fishermen across Europe, promoting the opportunities offered by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to support professional development and contributing to supporting fishing communities.
â€˜As a small-scale fisherman, EMFF supports you throughout your professional life. It also supports your fishing community in its development,â€™ announced EU Maritime and Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella, commenting that fishermen with vessels of under 12 m long and with no towed gear can, under certain conditions, benefit from preferential access and higher rates of public support.
â€˜This is up to 30 percentage points more in most cases, and up to 35 percentage points more in the EUâ€™s outermost regions and the remote Greek or Croatian islands,â€™ he said.
â€˜EMFF can help you to train yourself or your partner, or hire a trainee. It can help you to invest in your first new boat, in new fishing gear, in new engines or in on-board equipment. It can also help you to improve your fishing practices, add value to your catch or diversify your economic activities.â€™
Up to 25% of the purchase price of a second-hand vessel between five and 30 years old is available for fishermen under 40 with more than five years experience, and for vessels under 24m, up to 30% of the cost of a new engine can be applied for, as well as up to 80% of the costs to invest in equipment or fishing gear to improve selectivity and protect biodiversity.
EMFF also offers opportunities for grants towards improving energy efficiency, improving quality and added values, doing your own processing or marketing, and investing in diversified activities.
A free EMFF leaflet available from the EU online bookshop lists the opportunities available.
â€˜However, since measures are financed jointly by the EU and the Member States, it is up to each Member State to decide which of these options to open up,â€™ Karmenu Vella said.
â€˜I encourage you to get in touch with your national EMFF managing authority to find out more.â€™
Source: EU Commission
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