Following the coronavirus outbreak with its sudden and unprecedented impact on fisheries and aquaculture, the European Commission took rapid action to help the sectors, including amendments to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
As a result, Cyprus has modified its operational programme and reallocated €1.6 million of public funds to compensate companies for financial loss caused by the outbreak.
The fisheries sectors received €445,500 to compensate economic losses from the cessation of fishing activity. Of 275 applications subm
itted, 251 were approved, mostly for small-scale coastal fishing vessels and multipurpose vessels. The share of small-scale fisheries was significant, as this sector includes self-employed businesses who could use the funds to substitute their salaries.
Aquaculture farmers who are economically affected by the coronavirus outbreak will receive approximately €1.2 million. In total, 15 proposals were submitted, with twelve approved and three still under review. In particular, aquaculture enterprises received compensation for some of the fixed costs related to production and sales in the period from March to December 2020.
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has put the EU’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors under substantial pressure. Many fishermen and women, producers, and processors were forced to suspend or severely reduce their activities. The additional support will deliver a significant boost to the sectors, allowing for a gradual return to normal operations without having to lay off personnel, decrease salaries or implement substantial budget cuts.