EU fishing, aquaculture operators get economic support
By Nestor Arellano
The European Commission is helping member states support local fishing and aquaculture communities through a European Union and national funds release.
The official Website of the EU noted that the fishing and aquaculture sectors were hit particularly hard by significant market disruptions, including from mandatory restaurant closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new framework adopted on March 19, allows member states to provide aid up to €120,000 per undertaking through direct grants, repayable advances or tax advantages.
The EC also provided measures that will become available to the two sectors following the release of a coronavirus emergency response package. The package was proposed by the commission on March 13 and is currently being considered bt the European Parliament and the Council.
Among other steps, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund may support investments in the processing of fishery and aquaculture products that improve safety, hygiene, health and working conditions and lead to new or improved products, new or improved processes, or new or improved management and organisation systems.
This type of support is reserved as grant for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) only while non-SMEs can only receive it through Financial Instruments.
Industry actions that improve health and safety, management and organisation systems as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic, will also be supported.
The EC said it continue to look into other options to support the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.