The European Commission has adopted new guidelines for state aid in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors (the so-called Fisheries Guidelines). The new Guidelines, adopted by the Commission at the end of 2022, are applicable from 1 April 2023.
The document establishes the conditions of compatibility with the Single Market of financial aid from the Member States in support of fishing and aquaculture activities. These reflect Europe’s strategic priorities, with particular reference to the Common Fisheries Policy or Pcp-Cfp, the new Feampa-Emfaf Fund and the European Green Deal.
Among the measures, more support is given to animal welfare practices in aquaculture and to policies on invasive alien species; new categories of aid are introduced such as that for the cessation of fishing activities, or for investing in the safety of fishing vessels in peripheral regions. Instead, it will become more difficult to access finance to increase fishing capacity.
With these new rules, support is therefore provided to the Member States to achieve the green objectives imposed by Europe, improving energy efficiency and mitigating the effects of climate change, without however causing distortions in the market.