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EU Operational Programmes for Fisheries and Aquaculture

EUROPE - The European Commission has approved the Operational Programme for development of the Danish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Slovak fisheries and aquaculture sector for 2007-2013.

Denmark

The total eligible public expenditure of the programme is € 267,350,338, with EU assistance through the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) amounting to € 133,675,169.

The programme covers the entire territory of Denmark which is designated as a whole as a non-convergence region.

During 2000-2006 Denmark benefited from EU support under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) of more than € 189 million.

As a result, by the end of the year 2006 support had been given to more than 1,400 projects for the modernisation of vessels, 245 projects for new and existing processing plants and 160 projects for new and existing port facilities. Support was also given to decommissioning vessels, aquaculture, marketing and pilot projects.

The new EFF programme for 2007-2013 will create the framework for achieving the maximum possible long-term yield from the Danish fisheries and aquaculture sector using resources in a sustainable way and integrating the perspective of regional development.

Priority 1: Adaptation of the EU fishing fleet

The objective of this axis is to contribute to sustainable exploitation of fishing resources, while at the same time helping the sector to develop and become more competitive.

Thus, it aims at creating an efficient, up-to-date fleet which manages fishing activities and resources in a sustainable way.

Support will be granted for reducing the impact of fishing on the marine environment, reducing discards and un-wanted by-catches, improving the working environment and reducing the risk of occupational accidents, and for carrying out activities that will encourage young people to seek employment in the fisheries sector.

Priority 2: Aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products

The aquaculture sector has considerable potential for growth in Denmark and represents a central element under this axis.

The programme will provide support for innovation, skills development, reduction of the impact on the natural environment and establishment of new types of partnership which can help realise the potential for sustainable growth in this sub-sector.

Similar activities will be supported for the processing and marketing sector, where the general goal is to increase the value added. Improvement of the working environment and the reduction of occupational accidents are also targeted.

Priority 3: Measures of common interest

Under this axis, a pivotal element is ensuring the competitiveness and profitability of enterprises in all areas of the fisheries sector within the framework of biological sustainability and with regard to the development of fisheries areas.

The main objectives are a high level of integrated service at the strategic fishing ports, as well as basic service functions in niche ports, co-operation throughout the value chain regarding market information, customer requirements and product development, support for consumer health, increasing value added within the processing, wholesale and retail sectors, and promoting a wide range of seafood products in the retail sector.

Priority 4: Sustainable development of fisheries areas

This axis aims at maintaining employment in fisheries areas, creating a framework for a diversified industry, making fisheries areas attractive both ecologically and socially for industrial and residential development, and optimising the level of training and skills throughout the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

These objectives will be implemented via local development strategies set up by fisheries groups.

Priority 5: Technical assistance

This axis aims at supporting the administration, implementation, monitoring and control of the programme with a view to guaranteeing its sound and efficient management.

Lithuania

The total eligible public expenditure of the programme is € 71,256,575, with EU assistance through the EFF amounting to € 54,713,408.

The programme covers the entire territory of Lithuania which is designated as a whole as a convergence region.

During 2000-2006 Lithuania benefited from EU support under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) of over € 12 million.

As a result, 31 vessels were scrapped, reducing the Baltic high seas fleet by 43%. 45 fishers were granted compensation.

The first fish auction was established, and 2 producer organizations, 13 aquaculture enterprises and 1 processing enterprise were supported.

Two projects for the protection and development of living aquatic resources are also currently being implemented.

The new EU programme for 2007-2013 aims to promote sustainable development and enhance the competitiveness of the Lithuanian fisheries sector by ensuring its economic, environmental and social sustainability and by protecting and, where necessary, restoring fish resources.

Priority 1: Adaptation of the EU fishing fleet

This priority axis aims to adjust fishing capacity to fishing possibilities and create a modern, competitive and efficient fishing fleet.

Measures foreseen include support for the permanent and temporary cessation of fishing activities, and investments in modernization on board vessels, including engine replacement to improve energy efficiency and to introduce more selective fishing methods.

Socio-economic measures will facilitate the entry of young fishers into the sector and will provide compensation for loss of jobs due to the permanent cessation of fishing activities and for early departure from the fishing sector.

Priority 2: Aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products

The objective of this axis is to develop sustainable aquaculture and fish processing sectors, mainly through productive investments, but also using aqua-environmental and animal health measures.

For inland waters, the goal is to achieve a balance between fishing capacity and current fish stocks and to assist with the creation of a competitive fleet.

In addition to investments in facilities and on board fishing vessels, support for inland fishing will also cover compensation for reassignment of vessels to other activities and for temporary cessation of fishing activities.

Priority 3: Measures of common interest

This axis supports measures of common interest with a broader scope than measures normally undertaken by private enterprises and which help to meet the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Special focus is placed on development of fishing ports and landing sites, protection and development of aquatic fauna and flora, promotion of marketing measures, and pilot projects, as well as collective actions, including support for producer organizations.

Priority 4: Sustainable development of fisheries areas

This axis aims at facilitating the sustainable development of fisheries areas and at improving the quality of life through initiatives by local fisheries groups. To achieve these objectives, support will be given in the framework of local development strategies for the diversification of activities, the development of tourism, in particular eco-tourism, increasing added value to fisheries products, the dissemination of innovation, developing coastal hamlets and villages, protecting natural and architectural heritage, and training for employees in the fisheries sector.

Priority 5: Technical assistance

Support is provided under this axis to ensure that the management, control and monitoring systems of the operational programme function efficiently and that EFF support is implemented in an appropriate manner.

Latvia

The total eligible public expenditure of the programme is € 166 687 419, with EU assistance through the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) amounting to € 125 015 563.

The programme covers the entire territory of Latvia which is designated as a whole as a convergence region.

During 2004-2006, Latvia benefited from EU support under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) of over € 24 million.

As a result, by the end of 2006, over 380 projects were supported: 48 fishing vessels were scrapped and 4 fishing vessels reassigned, three fishing ports, 21 fish processing enterprise and 15 aquaculture enterprises were modernised.

More than 110 fishermen received compensation for the loss of their jobs due to the permanent cessation of fishing activities.

The new EU programme for 2007-2013 builds on the success of the previous programme and aims at promoting the sustainable development of the fisheries sector and of areas where the fisheries sector is an important activity, in particular by increasing the competitiveness of the sector and adjusting fleet capacity to available fish resources.

Priority 1: Adaptation of the EU fishing fleet

This priority axis aims at adjusting the fishing fleet's capacity to the available fish resources, creating an efficient, up-to-date fishing fleet which manages its fishing activities and use of resources in a sustainable way.

Priority 2: Aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products

The objective of this axis is to promote an environmentally friendly aquaculture sector, the sustainable use of fish stocks in inland waters, and to enhance the competitiveness of the processing sector.

Priority 3: Measures of common interest

Measures under this axis are particularly aimed at the promotion of partnership, co-operation and acquisition of professional skills, and the protection and development of aquatic fauna and flora.

Particular attention is also paid to the improvement of the infrastructure of fishing ports and landing sites, the development of new markets and promotional campaigns.

Priority 4: Sustainable development of fisheries areas

The objective of this axis is to develop and improve in a sustainable way the quality of life and attractiveness of fisheries areas at the initiative of local fisheries groups.

The development of small-scale infrastructure and services related to fisheries and tourism, the diversification of economic activities and the recovery and development of small fisheries villages will be financed under this priority axis.

Priority 5: Technical assistance

Support is provided under this axis to ensure that the management, control and monitoring systems of the operational programme function efficiently and that the programme is implemented in an appropriate manner. The establishment of a network of local fisheries groups will be financed under this axis.

Slovakia

The total eligible public expenditure of the programme amounts to EUR 18,922,750, with EU assistance through the EFF amounting to EUR 13,688,528. EUR 12,681,459 of the EFF assistance will be allocated to the Convergence regions of the Slovak Republic (the regions of Trnava, Nitra, Trencín, Banská Bystrica, Prešov and Košice) and EUR 1,007,069 to the non-Convergence regions (Bratislava region).

The programme covers the entire territory of the Slovak Republic which is designated, apart for the region of Bratislava and the surrounding districts, as a Convergence objective.

During the previous programming period, 2004 – 2006 the Slovak Republic received EUR 1.8 million under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). As a result, 21 projects were supported and 11 new jobs created by the end of 2006.

The new EU programme for 2007 – 2013 aims to build on the success of the previous programme and consolidate the preconditions for a sustainable and competitive fisheries and aquaculture sector that respects the environment and meets the demands of consumers and the food industry.

Priority 2: Aquaculture, processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products

This axis aims to encourage the modernisation, innovation and restructuring of aquaculture, and to increase the competitiveness of enterprises which process fisheries and aquaculture products.

The emphasis is on support for the processing of domestic production and the enhancing human resources in the field of the fisheries through lifelong learning.

Priority 3: Measures of common interest

This axis seeks to support cooperation between individual enterprises in the sector, to improve stability, and to support the development of the market for fisheries products.

Priority 5: Technical assistance

Support is provided under this axis to ensure efficient implementation of the programme, through targeted publicity, development of monitoring and evaluation systems, background studies, external expertise and the evaluation of assistance.

Ellen Hardy

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