The Operational Programme (OP) under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will help Belgium meet the aims of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP).
Welcoming the adoption, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella stressed the programme's contribution to sustainable growth: "This investment package will help the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in Belgium to develop in a sound and sustainable manner: economically, socially and environmentally. Funds will go to projects that support Belgian fishermen and fish farmers in becoming more sustainable, innovative and competitive, and that will allow Belgian coastal communities to thrive."
In particular, the programme will fund projects promoting sustainable fisheries – for example by reducing unwanted catches – and aquaculture as well as projects that improve the competitiveness of those sectors. Half of all allocated funding will go to these types of projects.
A significant part of the EMFF budget (34 per cent) will also be used to support the implementation of the CFP through the collection of fish stock and other marine data as well as various measures to control fishing activities.