The package will support smart and green fisheries and aquaculture, while strengthening the economic viability of businesses in the sector. The programmes will support fishing communities by improving infrastructure and equipping fishermen with new skills and opportunities to help them diversify their business models.
Welcoming the adoption, the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella stressed the significant contribution of the programme towards sustainable growth: "This investment will be a shot in the arm for Malta's coastal communities and economy as a whole. It is no secret that our maritime, fisheries and aquaculture sectors are the lifeblood of many of our communities and that's why I am delighted that long term economic and environmental sustainability is the focus of this programme".
The programme is fully in line with the priorities of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Regulation (EMFF) and the reformed Common Fisheries Policy. It will promote environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge based fisheries and aquaculture.
Projects that improve the livelihood of fishing communities, limit the impact of fishing on the marine environment, ensure the balance between fishing capacity and available fishing opportunities, and promote environmentally sustainable research-oriented aquaculture will be supported through the package. The programme will also promote a shift in consumption towards lesser known species.