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European Fisheries Fund

The Programme

 
  
The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) is the European Union's financial instrument for the fisheries sector. It came into force on 1 January 2007 and will run for seven years, replacing the former Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). It is a public support instrument that contributes to the financing of projects initiated by businesses, public authorities or representative bodies, in all the economic activities that make up the fisheries sector: catches, ports, farming, processing, marketing, heritage, etc. The EFF is meant to help the fisheries sector achieve the objectives set with the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in 2002. The aid it provides must stimulate the development of an economically profitable fisheries sector that is respectful of the environment and contributes to the well-being of the populations dependent on the sector, in other words, it must encourage sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. The projects co-financed by the EFF must help strike a balance between resources and fishing capacity, protect and add value to the environment and natural resources, support competitiveness and the economic sustainability of the sector, improve the quality of life in fisheriesareas and promote gender equality among those working in the sector.                                                                                           
   
The EFF's total budget is € 4.305 billion for the seven years of the programming period (2007-2013). All the European Union Member States are eligible, but fund allocation will be particularly concentrated in the less developed regions. 75 %, or € 3.252 billion, are earmarked for 'convergence objective' regions, i.e. regions with a per capita gross domestic product below 75 % of the Community average. EFF support is based on the principle of co-financing, meaning that European aid is granted complementary to other public subsidies and/or co-financing by the beneficiary firm, at a rate that varies from one type of project to another.
  
The Member States choose the projects that are granted EFF co-funding. Due to the limited budget, however, each Member State had to set priorities in partnership with representatives of the sector, the regional authorities and other socio-economic players. First, in the national strategic plan, the Member State had to present a state of play of the sector, describe its objectives and make clear its financing priorities for achieving its aims. This document was then discussed with the European Commission, to ensure its coherence with CFP objectives. The strategic plan then served as the basis for the development of the operational programme, in which the Member State describes in concrete terms the main measures to be co-financed by the EFF during the seven-year programming period. The operational programmes were adopted by the European Commission.
 
 
(Extract from the European Fisheries Fund 2007-2013 - A user's guide ISBN 978-92-79-08612-0)
 
 

EFF in Malta

 
The European Commission has approved the first version of the Fisheries Operational Programme for Malta for the period 2007-2013 on the 10th December 2008. Following, the designation of the Funds and Programmes Division as Managing Authority of the European Fisheries Fund (2007-2013) in January 2012, a revised version of the Operational Programme was submitted to the European Commission for approval, which document was approved by the EC in May 2012. The total eligible public expenditure of the Programme amounts to €11,163,105, with EU assistance from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) amounting to €8,372,329.
   
Malta's Operational Programme​​ has been prepared in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No. 1198/2006 and plans to implement three axes of the EFF together with the technical assistance measure. The Priority Axes adopted for Malta's EFF Operational Programme are as follows:
   
     Priority Axis 1 - Adaptation of the Community fishing fleet: Budget €2,900,000 (EU and MT share)
     Priority Axis 2 - Aquaculture, processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products: Budget €2,277,000 (EU and MT share) 
     Priority Axis 3 - Measures of common interest: Bdget €5,460,105 (EU and MT share) 
     Priority Axis 4 - N/A 
     Priority Axis 5 - Technical Assistance: Budget  €526,000 (EU and MT share)
 
 
During 2004-2006, Malta benefited from EU support under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). The projects co-funded under the FIFG concerned the adjustment and modernisation of the fishing fleet, the development of aquaculture, processing and marketing, as well as the improvement of fishing port facilities.  Examples of successful projects include the establishment of maintenance and repair facility for fishing vessels and the installation of cold store equipment to improve the quality, and thus increase the value, of fisheries products.
  
The new EU Programme for 2007-2013 aims to build on the achievements of the previous programme. In accordance with the EU's strategic guidelines, Malta's EFF Operational Programme will contribute to important objectives such as achieving a sustainable fishing effort, diversification of the fisheries product, increasing the competitiveness of the sector, enhancement of fishing skills, the safeguarding of jobs, improved working conditions and the application of increased innovation.
  
 
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Description of each Priority Axis

 
  
PRIORITY AXIS 1: MEASURES FOR THE ADAPTATION OF THE COMMUNITY FISHING FLEET
 
Measure 1.1: Public aid for permanent cessation of fishing activities
 
 
The EFF shall contribute to financing of the permanent cessation of fishing activities of fishing vessels.
 
     Beneficiaries:  
The beneficiaries of this measure are legal and natural persons who are registered as owners of a fishing vessel and have a valid licence for commercial fishing in the A or B categories of the Malta fishing register at the time of application.
 
     Eligible actions: 
The actions that are eligible under this measure are:
  
          The complete scrapping of a fishing vessel with deletion of the relative fishing capacity related to the vessel from the Malta fishing vessel register. Both fishing rights and vessel will be compensated. Direct reference is made to Art 4(1) of Commission Regulation (EC) 498/2007 whereby scrapping of the vessel means there will be a permanent cancelling of the related fishing licence and the permanent deletion of the vessel from the Community fleet register. 
          The reassignment of the vessel under the flag of a Member State and registered in the Community for activities outside fishing with deletion of the relative fishing capacity related to the vessel from the Malta fishing vessel register. Only fishing rights will be compensated. 
           The reassignment of the vessel for the purpose of the creation of artificial reefs with deletion of the relative fishing capacity related to the vessel from the Malta and the Community fishing vessel register. Both fishing rights and vessel will be compensated. Direct reference is made to Art 23 1 (c) of Council Regulation (EC) 1198/2006, whereby Member States shall ensure that any such operation as described above will be preceded by an environmental impact assessment.
           Information and publicity actions relating to actions taken under this measure.
 
As per Art 23.2 of the EFF Regulation, the permanent cessation of fishing activities of fishing vessels shall be programmed in the form of national decommissioning schemes which shall not exceed two years from the date of entry into force.
 
  
Measure 1.2: Public aid for temporary cessation of fishing activities
 
The EFF shall contribute to the financing of aid measures for the temporary cessation of fishing activities for fishers and owners of fishing vessels.
 
     Beneficiaries: 
The beneficiaries of this measure are legal and natural persons who are registered as fishers and / or are owners of a fishing vessel and have a valid licence for commercial fishing at the time of application. 
 
     Eligible actions: 
The eligible action foreseen by this measure is the full cessation of all fishing effort which is approved / sanctioned by the relevant national authority. A recurrent seasonal suspension of fishing shall not be taken into account for the grant of allowances under this measure.
 
  
Measure 1.3: Investments on board fishing vessels and selectivity
 
The EFF may contribute to the financing of equipment and the modernisation of fishing vessels of five years of age or more. 
 
     Beneficiaries:
The beneficiaries of this measure are legal and natural persons who are registered as fishers and / or are owners of a fishing vessel in the Malta fishing vessel register and have a valid licence for fishing in the A and B categories.
 
     Eligible actions: 
The actions that are eligible under this measure are: 
 
          Investment in equipment that will lead to the achievement of any one or more of the specific objectives listed above. 
          To increase mesh sizes and hook sizes for trawl nets, bottom-set nets and long lines in order to avoid further increases in mortality rates for juveniles and to substantially reduce the amount of discards of dead marine organisms by fishing vessels. In this regard, specific reference is made to Art 25.7(b) and 25.8(a) of the EFF Regulation. 
          The replacement of an engine per vessel as per the conditions listed in Article 25 (3) of Regulation No 1198/2006. 
 
Measure 1.4: Socio-economic compensation for the management of the Community fishing fleet
 
The EFF may contribute to the financing of socio-economic measures proposed by Member States for fishers affected by developments in fishing. 
 
     Beneficiaries: 
The beneficiaries of this measure are legal and natural persons with residence in Malta and who are registered as fishers and / or are owners of a fishing vessel in the Malta fishing vessel register and have a valid licence for fishing in the A and B categories. 
  
     Eligible actions: 
The actions that are eligible under this measure are: 
 
          The provision of training to upgrade the professional skills for fishers and for young fishers in          particular 
          The provision of training to fishers in occupations outside sea fishing 
          A non-renewable compensation to fishers as per Article 27 (1) (e) of Regulation 1198/2006 
          The payment of a premium to fishers younger than 40 years as per Article 27 (2) 
 
 
PRIORITY AXIS 2: AQUACULTURE, PROCESSING AND MARKETING OF FISHERY AND AQUACULTURE PRODUCTS
  
Measure 2.1: Productive investments in aquaculture
 
The EFF may support investments in the construction, extension, procurement of equipment and modernisation of production installations, in particular with a view to improving working conditions, hygiene, human or animal health and product quality, reducing negative environmental impact or enhancing positive effects on the environment.
 
      Beneficiaries: 
The beneficiaries of this measure are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC that are legal and natural persons registered with the relevant authorities for aquaculture activities in Malta.  Additional points will be awarded for applicants that fall within the definition of micro and small-sized enterprises. 
 
     Eligible actions:
The actions that are eligible under this measure are:
 
          Investment in new equipment aimed at modernizing current establishments as well as enhancing                           security. 
          Investment in the construction of a land-based hatchery. 
          Investment in the construction of new establishments and the required equipment.  
          Investment in new equipment aimed at mitigating any possible negative impacts of aquaculture operations. 
          Investment in the development and commercialisation of new species.  
          Investment in the development and implementation of new aquaculture methods aimed at reducing environmental impact. 
          Spatial planning/mapping of aquaculture sites. 
 
 
Measure 2.2: Aqua-environmental measures
  
The EFF can support granting compensation for the use of aquaculture production methods that help to protect and improve the environment and to conserve nature.
 
     Beneficiaries:
The only beneficiaries of this measure are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC that are legal and natural persons registered with the relevant authorities for aquaculture activities in Malta. 
 
     Eligible actions:
The actions that are eligible under this measure are:
 
          The implementation of aqua-environmental methods aimed at protecting and enhancing the environment and producing more eco-friendly aquaculture products.
 
 
Measure 2.3: Investments in processing and marketing
  
The EFF may support investments in processing and marketing of fisheries and aquaculture products.
 
     Beneficiaries:
The beneficiaries of this measure are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC that are legal and natural persons registered with the relevant authorities for aquaculture activities in Malta. Additional points will be awarded for applicants that fall within the definition of micro and small-sized enterprises. 
 
     Eligible actions:
The actions that are eligible under this measure are:
 
          Investment in facilities and equipment including both hardware and software with the aim of achieving one or more of the objectives as per Article 35 (1) of the EFF Regulation.
          Investment in refrigeration vehicles and other refrigeration equipment necessary for the operation of enterprises operating at wholesale level. 
          Investment in health, hygiene and safety measures. 
          Investment in the marketing of products originating from local landings and aquaculture.
          Investment in the development of brand names for local products.
 
 
PRIORITY AXIS 3: MEASURES OF COMMON INTEREST
 
Measure 3.1: Fishing ports, landing sites and shelters
 
The EFF can support investments in existing public or private fishing ports with the aim of improving the services offered. 
 
     Beneficiaries: 
The beneficiaries of this measure are Public Sector bodies, Producer Organisations and other recognised organisations concerned exclusively with fisheries and aquaculture and are recognised and registered in Malta.
  
     Eligible actions:
The actions that are eligible under this measure are: 
 
          The restructuring and development of port infrastructure necessary for the functioning of the fisheries industry.
          The development of infrastructure within ports necessary for the proper landing and storage of fish. 
          The relocation of fish markets. 
          The introduction / improvement of software and hardware to be used for the organisation of the fish markets.
 
 
Measure 3.2: Development of new markets and promotional campaigns
  
The EFF can support measures of common interest intended to implement a policy of quality and value enhancement, development of new markets or promotional campaigns for fisheries and aquaculture products.
  
     Beneficiaries:
The beneficiaries of this measure are Producer Organisations and other recognised organisations concerned with fisheries and aquaculture that are recognised and registered with the relevant authorities in Malta, or any other Local Council or NGO with a demonstrable interest in fisheries
 
     Eligible actions: 
The actions that are eligible under this measure are: 
 
          The design and implementation of promotional campaigns aimed at enhancing the knowledge about  the benefits of consuming fish. 
          The design and implementation of promotional campaigns aimed at enhancing the demand for currently underutilised fish and aquaculture species. 
          The design and implementation of promotional campaigns aimed at promoting fish and aquaculture  products obtained using environmentally friendly methods. 
          The carrying out of market surveys. 
          The organisation of fish fairs, festivals and exhibitions.
 
 
PRIORITY AXIS 5: TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
 
     Beneficiaries:
The beneficiary is the Operational Programme Managing Authority.
  
     Eligible actions:
The actions that are eligible under this measure are:
 
          Increasing and improving the administrative capacity for the implementation and the management of the OP. 
          All actions relating to the administration, management and implementation of the OP. 
          All actions relating to the dissemination of information on the implementation of the OP. 
          All actions relating to the meeting of publicity obligations of the OP.
 
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Contact Information:
Contact Icon Contact Details
Malta's EFF Managing Authority
 Funds and Programme Division
Triq il-Kukkanja,
Santa Venera, SVR 1411

Phone Icon Telephone
2200 1134

Email Icon Email
fpd.meae@gov.mt​