The European Commission has adopted a €29m investment package for the Maltese maritime, fisheries and aquaculture sectors that includes €23m of EU funding. The package will support smart and green fisheries and aquaculture, while strengthening the economic viability of businesses in the sector.
Welcoming the adoption, the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella stressed the significant contribution of the program towards sustainable growth: "This investment will be a shot in the arm for Malta's coastal communities and economy as a whole. It is no secret that our maritime, fisheries and aquaculture sectors are the lifeblood of many of our communities and that's why I am delighted that long term economic and environmental sustainability is the focus of this program".
The program is in line with the priorities of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Regulation (EMFF) and the reformed Common Fisheries Policy. It will promote environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge based fisheries and aquaculture.
€3.3 million will go towards projects that promote environmentally sustainable research-oriented aquaculture. The program will also promote a shift in consumption towards lesser known species.