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The Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food has awarded, following a competition, to APC SA, the support project to prepare calls for funding of production and marketing plans for Producer Organizations (Article 66 of Reg.508/2014), as well as for the marketing / promotion of fishery and aquaculture products (Article 68 of Reg.508/2014).

Thus, marine aquaculture products through the Hellenic Aquaculture Producers Organization, as well as fresh / frozen fishery and aquaculture products, will be eligible for funding with rates of aid 50-100%.

The assignment of the project to APC SA is a confirmation and acknowledgment of our company as a leading consulting firm in the fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic environment.

The project will be completed in November 2018.

 

The continuation of the operation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for the period 2021-2027 was announced. The budget for this period is estimated at € 6.14 billion (compared with € 6.4 billion in period 2014-2020) and will target investments in the maritime economy and support for fishing communities.

The EMFF will support the implementation of the CFP and the Union's maritime policy along four priorities:

-Fostering sustainable fisheries and the conservation of marine biological resources
-Contributing to food security in the Union through competitive and sustainable aquaculture and markets
-Enabling the growth of a sustainable blue economy and fostering prosperous coastal communities
-Strengthening international ocean governance and enabling safe, secure and sustainable seas and oceans

 

On April 18th in Athens, APC attended workshop of the “ClimeFish” project. ClimeFish is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, which aims to support sustainable fisheries, enable an increase in European aquaculture production, facilitate employment and regional development in the sectors, and develop forecasting and management tools for adapting to climate change; all in co-creation with stakeholders.

The Workshop in Athens had the title “ClimeFish Decision Support Framework for Marine Aquaculture in Greece”. ClimeFish presentation team illustrated the work they have implemented up until today, examining to the potential impact of climate change to marine aquaculture.

Moreover, two days later, APC attended the 1st Stakeholders workshop of Project HarmoNIA, included in Interreg ADRION programme. Project Harmonia intends to address the heterogeneity of methodological approaches and information used to assess good environmental status and overcome the fragmentation of geographical coverage in the availability of data.

 

On 12 and 13 October in Estonian capital,Tallinn, the Estonian Presidency of the EU and the European Commission jointly organized a conference on the future of fisheries, aquaculture and fishery products.

 

The conference "Beyond 2020: Supporting Europe's coastal communities" with more than 70 selected speakers - including the undersigned- attracted stakeholders from across Europe representing governments, producers, social partners, non-governmental organizations and technical advisors.

 

The conference addressed many topics regarding the necessity and effectiveness of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and its future, without excluding even its dismantling and the incorporation of fisheries into wider structures. With little use so far of the EMFF resources by the Member States, it is likely that its budget will be reduced after 2020. This is also reflected in the possible reduction of the EU budget due to Brexit, but also in the need to increase the funds for the security and address the issue of refugees / migrants.

 

Many speakers accused the EU of the late political agreement on the EMFF and the complex procedures for applying for the Fund despite the need to exploit its resources. In particular, small-scale fisheries and small and medium-sized enterprises have difficult access to funds due to bureaucracy in the application process, while access to credit institutions is virtually impossible.

 

However, Ag. Mr Machado, Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said that complexity is not an excuse for low capital use, he warned of a reduction in the EU's future budget and told participants to make use of the available credit.

 

Representatives of environmental organizations underlined that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) instead of potentially allowing "harmful subsidies" such as those for fleet modernization, every "next" Fisheries and Maritime Fund should contribute to reducing impacts on the marine environment. They noted that society wants healthy and productive seas because they are the basis for prosperous thriving coastal communities. They also pointed out that, with all the attention paid to fisheries and aquaculture funding, funding to support the marine environment seems to be the main gap to be tackled in the next budgetary period.

 

The framework as it is shaped today

 

After the first talks in Tallinn and the meeting of EU coastal and coastal regions recently in Brussels, EU will make proposals on the future of the EMFF, in the context of its overall proposals for the post-2020 budget at the beginning of 2018.

To date, the EMFF budget accounts for 1% of the total EU budget.

Since EU beyond fisheries and aquaculture, wishes to promote the strategy of the sea in the context of Blue Growth, there will be an extensive debate on the future of the EMFF within the overall policies of the European Union.

 

Three priorities will be discussed:

 

- The protection of healthy seas and sustainable fishing and aquaculture, in conjunction with the Maritime Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
- Promoting Blue Growth and successful support for coastal communities dependent on fisheries and aquaculture.
- Strengthening the governance of international waters in relation to the security and protection of marine areas with emphasis on maritime spatial planning, climate change, control of border and international waters by illegal fishing.

 

Implementing these strategic axes beyond 2020 will require the combination of several sources of funding. Thus the EMFF will be associated with the Cohesion Funds, HORIZON 2020 and other, and its great added value must be proven to justify its budget.

 

Until 2014, the European Fisheries Fund was the exclusive tool for the implementation of the CFP. With its transformation into the EMFF, about 10% of it, aims to strengthen actions for Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). This means that the intention is to strengthen the spatial dimension (= waters) that includes many combined activities and not just fisheries / aquaculture. Thus, while strong and effective interventions in the structure of the fishing fleet, the development of aquaculture and the promotion of the local development of fishing areas took place between 2007 and 2013, it is premature to assess the course of the EMFF 2014-2020 as it has been implemented to a limited extent.

 

Thus, clear estimates for the sector's needs after 2020 cannot be made as:

 

- The state of fish stocks is uncertain, particularly in the Mediterranean and therefore it is not possible to quantify interventions for the fishing fleet.
- The impact of Brexit on the fleets of North Sea fishing vessels in the North Atlantic and North Atlantic cannot be estimated.
- It is a precarious assessment of the need to modernize the fishing fleet to improve its viability and competitiveness, as some segments of industrial fishing have shown high profits in recent years as a result of lower fuel prices and the recovery of certain stocks.

 

At the same time, the Integrated Maritime Policy actions included in the 2014-2020 EMFF, such as education, maritime spatial planning, data collection, maritime safety and surveillance, innovation and ocean governance, cannot be evaluated until now, neither how much they can contribute to the activation of financial tools.

 

Whether the Financial Instruments, such as loans, credit guarantee, interest rate subsidies, etc. could replace some of the direct subsidies to fishermen and aquaculture, is an important field of discussion.

 

As part of the Jucker project, the creation of a funding tool for innovation (Inno Fin instrument) in the marine environment that will link the EMFF with the European Investment Bank could be discussed.

 

Despite the fact that the EMFF is the only financial instrument of the EU which is not allowed to be managed by the Regions, there will be a debate regarding the allocation of the funds they will manage directly or through them in order to optimize the speed and effectiveness of assistance to potential beneficiaries. Experience to date from the low effectiveness of Local Action Groups within the EDF and the EMFF raises concerns. Of course, many have argued about the complexity of procedures and the need to simplify them.

 

The duration of the new programming period is also under discussion as a larger, e.g. 7 years, will contribute to the stability of the processes at each level.

 

The investigation of interventions through the Integrated Maritime Policy, as well as Brexit's localized impact on specific areas, also raises the issue of linking the EMFF with specific spatial areas, e.g. seas such as the North Sea, the Mediterranean and areas of Initiatives such as the Ionian - Adriatic Sea, as it will, if necessary, require a differentiated intensity and form of action.

 

The future of the EMFF budget could ideally be clarified on the basis of an in-depth analysis of the needs of CFP and IMP. This is not the case today, but the needs of fishing and aquaculture will remain high and would justify retaining the budget at the same level. However, the Brexit (a total budget reduction of 70 million) and the new budgetary needs for policies such as border security and migration, may entail a reduction in the EMFF either in percentages or in amounts, or even its integration with other funds.

 

The challenges for aquaculture

 

Given the stagnation of EU aquaculture and the partial decline of Greek production owing to the necessary restructuring of large enterprises in the sector, on the path to sustainable and competitive aquaculture, issues such as above will have to be addressed: 

 

  • Simplification of the legislative and management framework with emphasis on the licensing status of the activity.

  • Improving the image and social acceptance of aquaculture by local communities and consumers.

  • Partial transition to financial instruments, although the industry believes that direct subsidies should remain the main financial instrument.

 

 

The Greek strategy

 

The necessary actions on the part of the Greek Government and the collective bodies of the sector are:

- Immediate activation of all actions / measures of the Operational Programme of Fisheries and Sea 2014-2020, in order to avoid a loss of available credit.
- Promoting a legislative framework for professional fisheries and setting priorities for the main fishing gear (management plans).
- Support and recognition of producer organizations in the aquaculture and fisheries sector.
- Approval of the National Program for the Development of Aquaculture by Hellenic Accreditation System and the Minister of Rural Development and Food.

 

In any case, and with a view to presenting the original EU proposals for the EMFF , there is an urgent need to shape national positions on fisheries and aquaculture after 2020. Although I am generally optimistic, at this juncture I have serious concerns about the reflexes of the Greek administration and the collective bodies of the industry.

 

Nikos Anagnopoulos

Ichthyologist

CEO of APC SA

 

President and CEO of APC sa, Nikos Anagnopoulos, was selected by the European Commission as a member of a marine expert group, (marine knowledge expert group), for a period of 3 years.

In mid-January 2018, in Brussels, the first official meeting of the group will be held, in which the discussion will focus on market needs and on the contribution of service packages such as EMODnet and Copernicus.

The full list of experts who were selected, can be found online at: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/maritimeforum/en/node/4129 

APC's President and CEO, Nikos Anagnopoulos, was present at the conference "Beyond 2020: Supporting EU Coastal Communities", which took place in Tallinn, Estonia, on 12 and 13 October 2017. Nikos Anagnopoulos was among the speakers, taking part in the debate on "Supporting the participation of small-scale coastal fishermen in the advisory and decision making processes of the common fisheries policy (CFP): Roundtable on the results of a European parliament pilot project". 

APC s.a. has been appointed by the Ministry of 'Rural Development and Food' to draw up a study on the calculation of the financial compensation of fishing vessels to be subsidized for the definitive withdrawal or temporary cessation of fishing activities, under the Operational Programm for Fisheries and Sea 2014-2020.

 

Particularly the temporary cessation measure, will be implemented for the first time in our country and the ambition is to contribute to the conservation of marine biological resources or marine ecosystems in the event of threats while both measures will substantially contribute to the adjustment and management of fleet capacity and safeguarding the balance between fishing capacity and resources.

 

The assignment of the project to APC s.a. is recognition of the deep knowledge of the fisheries sector in Greece and the European Union.

Invited by the European Commission / Directorate General for the Sea and Fisheries, the President of APC s.a. Nikos Anagnopoulos took part in the Ministerial Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries (MEDFISH 4EVER) held in Malta on
March 29-30.

During the discussions, the attendees had the opportunity to exchange views and explore collaborations on fisheries development with a focus on coastal fishing.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

“Legal framework a barrier for small-scale fishermen”

 

A seminar and informative meeting was held in Piraeus, on Saturday 28th January 2017 for the pilot project “Measures to support seminar and informative meeting was held in Piraeus, on Saturday 28th January 2017 for the pilot project “Measures to support small-scale fisheries in the EU Mediterranean waters” (MARE/2014/04 – SI2.723876) in Greece, Cyprus and Malta with the presence of Ms Evangelia Georgitsi from Directorate General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission.

The meeting was organised by APC s.a. and was conducted by Mr Nikos Anagnopoulos, President and CEO of APC s.a. with the participation of representatives from Cyprus and Malta, small-scale fishermen from Poros, Nea Makri, Marathon, Kithira, Ikaria, Pelion, Kyklades, Arkadia, Nisiros and Kalymnos and also the President of the Pancypriot Association of Professional Fishermen.

The meeting also attended representatives of the Region of Attica, staff from the Directorate General of Sustainable Fisheries and staff from the Management Unit of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food and staff from various regional Fisheries Departments.

APC s.a. staff presented the objectives, the progress of the project and the preliminary results of the survey. Also presentations were given by Mr Dimitris Vatsos from the Department of Fisheries in the Region of Attica, Ms Fotini Mane, staff of the Fisheries Department Regional Unit of Piraeus for the problems of fisheries in the area of Piraeus, Ms Marina Petrou, Head of the DG of Sustainable Fisheries of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food for the Common Fisheries Policy, and Ms Efthimia Giokala, Head of the Management Unit of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, in relation to funding opportunities from the Operational Programme for Fisheries 2014-2020.

All participants agreed on the need to subsidize fisheries associations for their participation in the Mediterranean Advisory Council as it is a full-time job with considerable travelling abroad. For the Greek fishermen it is important to withdraw the obstacle of the existing legislative framework related to Fishermen Associations in order to facilitate their participation in the decision-making process. Towards this direction an amendment of the Law 4015/2011 was proposed in order to be forwarded in the relevant authorities. Finally, it was agreed that closer cooperation among fishermen in the Mediterranean will be beneficial.

A relevant tool for information that can be used by fishermen is the site of the project (http://www.eastmedfishers.eu).

 

For APC s.a.

Nikos Anagnopoulos

President & CEO

The Market Report prepared by APC s.a.  regarding "Aquaculture products made in Greece" was successfully completed and received by the European Commission- Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS).

 

This report demonstrated the positive market prospects for fish and shellfish products and the required conditions for achieving growth, while the path for financing investments opened by ETTHA (ΕΤΘΑ) - EPALTH (ΕΠΑΛΘ) 2014 - 2020 and the implementation of the Multiannual National Strategic Development Plan of Aquaculture.

 

Above the summary of the Market Report can be found in an attachment.

About Us

APC s.a. is a consulting firm, based in Athens, engaged with the provision of services for developmental and spatial planning, environmental issues, implementation of investment plans, and planning, management and evaluation of National and EU programs.

APC s.a. specializes in the sectors of fisheries and aquaculture, rural and regional development and marine environment.

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