Europe and Central Asia

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

  • Balearic Shearwater © J.M. Arcos

    The main EU fund that has been supporting investments at sea has mainly been in the form of a fisheries fund. In the past, this fund has been very destructive to the marine environment, especially for its support to overfishing. From 2007-2013, the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) used to annually supports the fishing sector with roughly €836 million for structural measures and about €156 million for fisheries partnership agreements.

    At the same time, funding for research and data collection as well as for control and enforcement measures was relatively low with less than €50 million allocated for each funding area per year. Shifting funds away from subsidies that incentivise and support overfishing to funds that support sustainable fisheries and healthy marine ecosystems plays a crucial role to achieving biodiversity conservation in the marine environment.

    The European Maritime Fisheries Fund adopted in 2014 has expanded the scope of the fund by also supporting the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), apart from just the Common Fisheries Policy as it used to do so. Specific ring-fencing for data collection and control and enforcement has not increased significantly compared to the previous fisheries fund, ranging between 75-80 million per year.

    However, the funding for managing the impacts of fisheries to the wider environment is a clear opportunity, as is supporting the management of marine protected areas either if it relates to fisheries management (as part of supporting the CFP objectives) or supporting non-fisheries related management (as part of supporting the IMP objectives).

Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.