In response to the severe economic impact of the coronavirus crisis on the fishing and aquaculture sectors, DG MARE has published an information note to give guidance to EU Member States outlining existing tools and instruments to support their local communities. These two sectors have been hit particularly hard by significant market disruptions, including from mandatory restaurant closures.
The information note provides details to Member States about support measures that are available immediately and that can be used without delay. There are a number of options, both under the current rules of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the newly adopted Temporary Framework for State aid. The new framework, adopted on 19 March 2020, allows Member States to support affected fishermen and women and aquaculture producers by allowing aid up to a level of €120,000 per undertaking through direct grants, repayable advances or tax advantages.
Moreover, the note provides guidance for measures that will become available also for the fisheries and aquaculture sector after the entry into force of the coronavirus emergency response package.
This package was proposed by the Commission on 13 March and is currently being considered by the European Parliament and the Council.
In addition to the above measures, the European Commission continues to investigate other options to support the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in these difficult times.
The Commission, therefore, remains in close contact with professional organisations, as well as the Member States’ authorities and the European Parliament.