Welcoming the adoption, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella stressed the programme's contribution to sustainable growth: "With its emphasis on economic, environmental and social sustainability, this investment package ensures that money is used for projects that deliver long-term results. Bulgarian fishermen and fish farmers as well as fishing communities will benefit from greater security and more opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth."
The adopted operational programme (OP) is in line with the priorities of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), as well as the EU's Common Fisheries Policy and Integrated Maritime Policy. It will promote environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, and competitive and knowledge based fisheries and aquaculture as well as actions to promote blue growth and maritime skills and knowledge.
In particular, the funding will contribute to limit the impact of fishing activities on the marine environment and enhance its biodiversity, and ensure the balance between fishing capacity and available fishing opportunities.
The programme also aims to promote economically and environmentally sustainable aquaculture and processing sectors. Funds will flow to projects that improve the livelihood of fishing communities – for instance by setting up Community-Led Local Development groups (CLLD) and creating Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs).