European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund

The Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 provides an important opportunity for Malta to support investment in its fisheries and aquaculture sectors, which constitute an important resource for Malta. Such support will primarily be implemented under the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programme, which continues to represent a main funding arm for investment in the Fisheries and Aquaculture sectors in Malta, complementing other EU funded interventions and investments. The EMFAF 2021-2027 Programme is expected to build upon the investments of the previous programming period thus aiming to maximise the added value of public investment. A general overview of the Programme is being explained below:

With an EU Share of €21,825,290 and a total share of €31,178,987, the EMFAF focuses on 2 Priorities:

  • Priority 1: Fostering sustainable fisheries and the conservation of aquatic biological resources
  • Priority 2: Fostering sustainable aquaculture activities and processing, and marketing of fisheries and aquaculture products

Planned Actions under these priorities include investments on-board fishing vessels, advisory services, training and diversification opportunities targeting support for professional fishers as well as improvement in designated fishing ports and landing infrastructure. The funding shall also aid in enhanced data collection activities and investment in control and enforcement. Actions targeting the protection and restoration of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems together with research and innovation actions targeting the sustainability, resilience and competitiveness of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors shall also be at the forefront of these priorities. Finally, awareness-raising campaigns shall focus on the promotion of sustainable fish consumption.

This Fund also includes operations of strategic importance under each of the 2 priorities mentioned above, such as the conservation and restoration of marine Natura 2000 areas, for which the EMFAF programme shall contribute. This operation will seek synergy between implementation of management processes for a holistic approach to the management of the marine environment. These measures will seek an integrated approach towards management of relevant economic and environmental sectors, in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. The action will enable Malta to progress towards the achievement of good status in the marine environment and of conservation objectives for listed marine habitats and species. Such management processes will contribute to the ambitions of the Biodiversity Strategy 2030 through the effective management of protected areas in the marine environment.

Under the second priority, another operation of strategic importance will be the Research and development on domestication of aquaculture species to promote species diversification. In line with Malta’s Multiannual National Plan for the Development of Sustainable Aquaculture 2022-2030, which aims to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the sector, support will be given to research, innovation and investment in the introduction of new-culture species to decrease reliance on the limited national number of species currently available.

EMFAF resources will target the needs of fishers and sector-related employees to ensure the provision of the necessary training. The Programme will also support interventions related to advisory services with the aim of improving the overall performance and competitiveness of operators and to promote sustainable fisheries. Main initiatives will include the promotion of the Fisheries and Aquaculture sectors, modernisation through support for new technology equipment as well as a strong focus on data collection and control, addressing marine litter, climate change and biodiversity impacts.

For current Open Calls, please visit this page.

Projects are selected by using eligibility and selection criteria adopted by the Monitoring Committee, which can be found below:

Eligibility and Selection Criteria – Aquaculture 

Eligibility and Selection Criteria – Control and Enforcement

Eligibility and Selection Criteria – Biodiversity and Ecosystems

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