Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic BALTFISH has developed a common set of proposals that will increase the funds available to the fisheries and aquaculture sector. These measures are in addition to and compliment the European Commission proposals making further EU support available to the industry from 2 April.
BALTFISH proposes to amend the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the EU subsidy package for the fisheries and aquaculture sector that runs from 2014-2020. These proposals will introduce increased budget flexibility for Member States, make additional funds available and increase the maximum amount of funds that may be provided to individual producer organisations. Public funds will be available for capacity enhancing measures such as temporary cessation and storage aid, if the proposals are adopted as expected.
BALTFISH also note as additional considerations that the Commission should explore the possibility to extend the funding of some measures into 2021 and “without delay” for the legislation (2019/0246(COD)) allowing funds for permanent cessation for vessels fishing for Eastern Baltic cod to be adopted and implemented.
Finland is the current chair of BALTFISH and their representative Risto Lampinen explained the need for the urgent adoption of the proposed measures:
“As we all know the COVID-19 outbreak is a severe public health crisis and a major shock to the Union’s fisheries sector. It is therefore crucial that Member States and EU institutions are able to take swift and determined actions to mitigate negative effects to the fisheries enterprises and to the fish supply for consumers.
BALTFISH has for its part prepared the attached proposals for urgent amendments to the EMFF Regulation to enable efficient mitigation measures. We hope that these proposals could form the basis for decisions and proposals in the Union.”