The European Commission has adopted a key investment package for the Latvian fisheries and aquaculture sector worth almost €184m, including €139m of EU investments.
The package seeks to enhance the competiveness, sustainability and viability of the sector. The program aims to more than treble aquaculture production, and to increase net profits for fishermen without compromising sustainability.
Welcoming the adoption, the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella stressed the sustainable growth potential of the program: \"Sustainability runs through the heart of this programme. With this investment, much needed jobs and growth can be created in the Latvian fishing industry. Latvia is the first country to have its program adopted and I look forward to the other 26 following this example.\"
The program is fully consistent with the priorities defined in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Regulation (EMFF) and the reformed Common Fisheries Policy. It will promote environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, and competitive and knowledge based fisheries and aquaculture.
Projects that limit the impact of fishing on the marine environment, ensure the balance between fishing capacity and available fishing opportunities, and promote environmentally sustainable aquaculture will be supported through the package. The programme will also foster marketing and processing as vital parts of the fisheries industry.
This EMFF investment will be instrumental for Community Led Local Development by creating employment opportunities and promoting social well-being and cultural heritage by sustainably capitalising on Latvia\'s environmental assets.
The main focus for the Latvian Fisheries Operational Program is in:
~ Promoting environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge based fisheries: €41.9 million
~ Promoting environmentally sustainable, resource efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge based aquaculture: €46.3 million
~ Fostering the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy: €13.1 million
~ Implementation of Community Led Local Development strategies: €15 million
~ Fostering marketing and processing: €54 million
~ Implementing of the Integrated maritime policy: €3.3 million