European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Financing details

Period: 2014-2020

Budget: € 7.404 billion in current prices

Legal basis: Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund [repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 and Council Regulation(EC) No 861/2006 and Council Regulation No XXX/2011 on integrated maritime policy

The general objective of the EMFF is to support the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy, and to further develop the EU Integrated Maritime Policy.

Contribution to Europe 2020 Financing details

EMFF will contribute to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy under three flagship initiatives: i) a resource efficient Europe, ii) an innovation union and iii) the agenda for new skills and jobs

Reinforced social dimensionFinancing details

EMFF will promote social cohesion and job creation in fisheries dependent communities through adding more value to fisheries and through diversification into other maritime sectors.

Environmental sustainability Financing details

Focus on innovative, viable and competitive fisheries and aquaculture

New impetus to the development of Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP)

Simplification and reduction of the administrative burden

 Strategic approach 

“CSF and Partnership Contracts”* will replace the strategic approach (National Strategic Plans) introduced in the current EFF, which has serious limitationsand required a disproportionate effort for Member States receiving limited EFF funding

* Following the proposals for the EU Cohesion Policy presented in October 2011, and in order to help Member States with their preparations of the Partnership Contracts for the next programming period, the European Commission has presented the “Common Strategic Framework” (CSF). The CSF is intended to help in setting clear investment priorities for the next financial planning period in Member States and their regions and enable a far better combining of various funds to maximise the impact of EU investments. National and regional authorities will use this framework as the basis for drafting their ‘Partnership Contracts’ with the Commission, committing themselves to meeting Europe’s growth and jobs targets for 2020.

 Strategic programming

EMFF focuses on CFP (Common Fisheries Policy) and IMP (Integrated Maritime Policy) long-term strategic objectives including sustainable and competitive fisheries and aquaculture, consistent policy framework for the further development of IMP and balanced and inclusive territorial development of fisheries areas/

The existing measures have been streamlined and reviewed in order to establish a strong link to environmental sustainability EMFF will support the transition to Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) and facilitate the gradual introduction of a discard ban through the integral approach.

ObjectivesFinancing details

  • Promoting sustainable and competitive fisheries and aquaculture;
  • Fostering the development and implementation of the Union’s Integrated Maritime Policy in a complementary manner to cohesion policy and to the Common Fisheries Policy;
  • Promoting a balanced and inclusive territorial development of fisheries areas;
  • Contributing to the implementation of the CFP.

The EMFF is structured around 4 pillars:

  1. Smart, Green Fisheries (shared management) to foster the transition to sustainable fishing which is more selective, produces no discards, does less damage to marine ecosystems and thus contributes to the sustainable management of marine ecosystems; and to provide support focused on innovation and value added, making the fisheries sector economically viable and resilient to external shocks and to competition from third countries.
  2. Smart, Green Aquaculture (shared management) – to achieve economically viable, competitive and green aquaculture, capable of facing global competition and providing EU consumers with healthy and high nutrition value products.
  3. Sustainable and Inclusive Territorial Development (shared management) – to reverse the decline of many coastal and inland communities dependent on fishing, through adding more value to fishing and fishing related activities and through diversification to other sectors of the maritime economy.
  4. Integrated Maritime Policy (direct centralised management) to support those cross cutting priorities which generate savings and growth but which the Member States will not take forward on their own – such as marine knowledge, maritime spatial planning, integrated coastal zone management and integrated maritime surveillance, the protection of the marine environment, in particular its biodiversity, and adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change on coastal areas.

In addition to the four pillars, the EMFF will include accompanying measures: data collection and scientific advice, control, governance, fisheries markets (including outermost regions), voluntary payments to RFMOs and technical assistance.

Supported activities

  1. I.  Under shared managementFinancing details

Sustainable development of fisheries

  • Innovation (projects aiming at developing or introducing new or substantially improved products compared to the state of art, new or improved processes, new or improved management and organisation systems.)
  • Advisory services (feasibility studies, business and marketing strategies)
  • Partnership between scientists and fishermen (network building)
  • Promoting human capital and social dialogue (lifelong learning and dissemination, dialogue, etc)
  • Facilitating diversification and job creation (business start-ups, retrofitting, skill development)
  • Health and safety on board (investments on board or in individual equipments)
  • Support to systems of transferable fishing concessions of the CFP (design, development, monitoring, evaluation)
  • Support to the implementation of conservation measures under the CFP (design, development, monitoring, evaluation)
  • Limiting the impact of fishing on the marine environment (support investments in equipment)
  • Innovation linked to the conservation of marine biological resources (developing or introducing new technical or organisational knowledge)
  • Protection and restoration of marine biodiversity and ecosystems in the framework of
  • Sustainable fishing activities (collection of waste, construction or installation of facilities, better management and conservation of resources)
  • Mitigation of climate change (investments on board, energy efficiency audits and schemes)
  • Product quality and use of unwanted catches (investments on board)
  • Fishing ports, landing sites and shelters (investments improving fishing port infrastructure or landing sites)
  • Inland Fishing (investments)

Sustainable development of aquacultureFinancing details

  • Innovation (introducing new technical or organisational knowledge, developing or introducing in the market new or substantially improved products)
  • Investments in off-shore and non-food aquaculture
  • New forms of income and added value (investments)
  • Management, relief and advisory services for aquaculture farms
  • Promoting human capital and networking (lifelong learning and dissemination, dialogue, etc)
  • Increasing the potential of aquacultures sites (development of the aquaculture sites and infrastructures)
  • Encouraging new aquaculture farmers (foster entrepreneurship in aquaculture)
  • Promotion of aquaculture with high level of environmental protection (investments)
  • Conversion to eco-management and audit schemes and organic aquaculture
  • Aquaculture providing environmental services
  • Public health measures (compensation to mollusc farmers for the temporary suspension of harvesting of farmed molluscs exclusively for reasons of public health)
  • Animal health and welfare measures (foster animal health and welfare in aquaculture enterprises)
  • Aquaculture stock insurance

Sustainable development of fisheries areas Financing details

  • Fisheries areas, local partnerships and local development strategies (local action groups may apply for preparatory support, implementation, cooperation activities)
  • Marketing and processing related measures (production and marketing plans, storage aid, marketing measures, processing products)
  • Compensation for additional costs in outermost regions for fishery and aquaculture products

II. Under direct management

Intergated maritime policy

  • studies;
  • projects, including test projects and cooperation projects;
  • public information and sharing best practice, awareness raising compaigns
  • conferences, seminars and workshops;
  • exchange of best practices, coordination activities
  • the development, operation and maintenance of IT-systems and networks

Accompanying measures


Most of the budget is allocated under shared management. Each Member State draws up a single operational programme to implement the Union priorities to be co-financed by the EMFF that the Commission approves. Annual work programmes will set the specific objectives, results to be achieved and the method of implementation.


Entities based in Member States can apply for funding from the European Fisheries Fund.

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