Brussels, 16th April 2014 - The European parliament adopted the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), concluding the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Subject to adoption by Council on 6 May, the EMFF will begin to support the implementation of the CFP that was agreed in 2013.

Brussels, 16th April 2014 - The European parliament adopted the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), concluding the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Subject to adoption by Council on 6 May, the EMFF will begin to support the implementation of the CFP that was agreed in 2013.

Seas At Risk had earlier this year highlighted the mixed nature of the new regulation. Tax payers’ money can now be used to pay for the temporary halting of fishing and for the replacement of boat engines, measures that will contribute to the maintenance of overcapacity. Furthermore, the rules ensuring that companies and Member States not in compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy will not receive subsidies are weaker than initially envisaged. Fortunately, the introduction of aid for new vessels that would contribute to overfishing was declined by Parliament at an earlier stage. On a more positive note, more funding will now be available for data collection, and control and enforcement, all of vital importance for fisheries management.

Whether this will also contribute to the fulfillment of related policies, such as the Data Collection Framework, depends on the willingness of Member States to utilize the increased funding now available. During the period of the last fund (the EFF), Member States utilised only about 70% of the available monies. With the majority of financing now coming from the European Union, Member States will have little excuse not to follow their obligations to collect fisheries related data to support sustainable fisheries management, as well as environmental data required for other policies such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

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