News Digest n.10 / 2021
The European Maritime Day is taking place again as a fully-fledged physical event in Ravenna (Italy) on May 19 and 20, 2022. The event will offer a rich programme, including thematic sessions offered by the European Commission on the latest developments of European maritime policies, 20 high quality workshops, B2B meetings and networking sessions. This event will be co-organised by the European Commission, the City of Ravenna and the Region of Emilia-Romagna. Registrations will open in March 2022, for more information visit the European Maritime Day website.
The Galician Minister of the Sea, Rosa Quintana, during the final meeting organized by EUMOFA at the XXII International Fair of Frozen Seafood Products CONXEMAR, highlighted the high potential of online sales of seafood products and the support of this form of commercialization to the competitiveness of the sector overall during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly €8 million have been awarded by the European Union to the EcoScope consortium to promote an effective and efficient ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management in the region’s waters. This consortium, which received funding through the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program, is comprised of 24 partners. This new four-year project addresses ecosystem degradation and anthropogenic impacts that cause fisheries to be unsustainably exploited in European seas. This project will include an assessment of the status of all ecosystem components across European seas and will test new technologies for evaluating environmental, anthropogenic and climate impact on ecosystems and fisheries.
The latest implementation report of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund was published on 29 September. It highlights the most important achievements supported by the Fund across the European Union. The report is based on data provided by the Member States, reflecting the state of implementation at the end of 2020. The report shows that €4.1 billion of EMFF funding was committed, corresponding to 71.6% of the total funding. Payments to beneficiaries reached €2.4 billion since the fund was established in 2014 (which corresponds to 41.5% of the total funding).
A public consultation document concerning €29 million of investments, which Malta will benefit from the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund has been launched. During the launch of the public consultation, the Maltese Parliamentary Secretary said that although the fisheries sector is relatively small, it still remains very important for the island. This program will address several challenges faced by Maltese fishers, amongst them the lack of interest from young generations in the sector, COVID-19 repercussions and an ageing fishing fleet.
On September 17, the European Commission adopted a proposal for fishing opportunities for 2022 in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. It promotes the sustainable management of fish stocks in both areas and it also delivers on the political commitments made in the MedFish4Ever and Sofia Declarations. The Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, confirmed the Commission’s commitment and responsibility, underlining that “we are still far from reaching sustainable levels and more effort is needed to achieve this goal”. The Council of Fisheries Ministers of the European Union will discuss the Commission’s proposal in December and establish the allocation of fishing opportunities. The regulation should apply as of 1 January 2022.
An informal meeting of directors-general and attachés for fisheries of the European Union 27 Member States was held on September 14 in Portorož (Slovenia), along with the European Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. Participants discussed the role and importance of small-scale coastal fisheries and aquaculture in the future sustainable development of the European fisheries. Discussions revolved around the question of what measures are necessary to facilitate their development while ensuring preservation and sustainable management of fishing stocks in the European Union.