The European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund

The European Maritime, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF), one of the European Funds under shared management (the ‘Funds’), runs from 2021 to 2027 and supports the EU common fisheries policy (CFP), the EU maritime policy and the EU agenda for international ocean governance.

The EMFAF has an overall budget of over EUR 6 billion for 2021-2027. The fund helps achieve sustainable fisheries and conserve marine biological resources, leading to food security through the supply of seafood products, growth of a sustainable blue economy, and healthy, safe and sustainably managed seas and oceans.

It also helps achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 (‘conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources’), to which the EU is committed.

Furthermore, the EMFAF helps fulfil the objectives of the European Green Deal, the roadmap for the EU climate and environmental policies.

EMFAF support can be provided through grants and, increasingly, through financial instruments.

EMFAF supports innovative projects that contribute to the sustainable exploitation and management of aquatic and maritime resources. In particular, it facilitates the transition to sustainable, low-carbon fishing and the protection of marine biodiversity and ecosystems. It ensures the supply of quality and healthy seafood to European consumers, the socio-economic attractiveness and the generational renewal of the fishing sector, and the development of a sustainable and competitive aquaculture contributing to food security. It also aims to improve skills and working conditions in the fishing and aquaculture sectors, the economic and social vitality of coastal communities, innovation in the sustainable blue economy, and maritime security towards a safe maritime space. Ultimately, EMFAF is working towards a healthy, safe and sustainable maritime environment.

Financial instruments can contribute to the achievement of the following EMFAF objectives:

  • promoting competitive, environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially responsible fisheries and aquaculture;
  • fostering the implementation of the CFP;
  • promoting a balanced and inclusive territorial development of fisheries and aquaculture areas;
  • fostering the development and implementation of the Union’s Integrated Maritime Policy in a manner complementary to cohesion policy and to the CFP.

Financial instruments are available to all kinds of recipients within the fishery and aquaculture sectors undertaking revenue-generating projects. In the sector involved in processing of fishery and aquaculture products, EMFAF support to enterprises that are not small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can only be provided by means of financial instruments.

In 2014-2020 period, apart from in a few Member States, financial instruments were not widely used under the then European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Despite the limited deployment of EMFF financial instruments during 2014-2020, a recent fi-compass study on the topic reveals that there is potential for greater use of those instruments under the new EMFAF.

The improved and more flexible implementation options for financial instruments under the Common Provisions Regulation will allow EMFAF managing authorities to develop tailored support packages addressing the needs of targeted groups and policy objectives, such as generational renewal (while avoiding overcapacity and overfishing), sustainable aquaculture, innovation and diversification, supporting the whole seafood value chain to face current and future challenges.

An additional possibility is to explore synergies with other financial instruments already set up or to be established under the other shared management funds ERDF, ESF+ or EAFRD. A broad range of EMFAF-supported financial instruments can be potentially implemented taking the form of loans, guarantees, equity or combination of support measures (incl. in combination with grants and other forms of support).

For further information, please consult the fi-compass study on the use of EMFF financial instruments.

Information from fi-compass for EMFF/EMFAF financial instruments

On this website, EMFF/EMFAF stakeholders can find a lot of useful and interesting information to improve their decision-making about financial instruments.

For example:

study assessing the experience in the use of, or the reasons for not using, financial instruments financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in the 2014-2020 programming period and exploring the potential use of financial instruments post-2020.

Video testimonials, such as interviews from people involved in the planning and implementation of EMFF/EMFAF financial instruments, provide insider information about how these instruments can help tackle strategic issues related to European maritime and fishery industries.

A case study publication and event presentations shows how the EMFF/EMFAF can work alongside other Funds through integrated financial instruments providing advantageous loans to both fishing and farming enterprises.

Recent videos

FI Campus 2024 – Carrying the torch for financial instruments HIGHLIGHTS

FI Campus 2024 – Carrying the torch for financial instruments

9 July 2024   about 7 mins

Check out the standout moments from FI Campus 2024, an event dedicated to financial instruments in the EU. Watch key segments from the conference, including a fireside chat with Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and European Investment Bank President Nadia Calviño. Enjoy exclusive interview snippets and get a sneak peek at our Showcase Award 2024 winners. Don't miss these essential highlights!


fi-compass Showcase 2019 submission – watch four video stories from France: FOSTER TPE-PME

15 September 2020   about 1 mins

This fi-compass Showcase 2019 submission includes four video stories about FOSTER. The Occitanie Region together with the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) created and financed the financial instrument FOSTER TPE-PME under the current ESIF programming period 2014-2020, for a financial size of EUR 153 000 000. This is an initiative to support SMEs financing needs in most sectors of the economy, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) through loans, guarantees and equity and the agricultural, agri-business and forestry sectors’ financing needs, which is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) through guarantees.

The videos showcase the following final recipients which benefited from financial support through the FOSTER TPE-PME financial instrument:

Move in Med has been the first project receiving financial support from FOSTER. This company helps the medical professionals and the patients to enhance the health care coordination thanks to a web platform called INU. The patients’ medical data is therefore gathered in one single and safe place. The company received a loan, co-financed with resources from ERDF, which enabled them to double the work force in a few months and improved its competitiveness on the market.
Face Verticale has been created by three high-altitude mountain guides who had a vision to offer a graduate training programme for rope access technicians. In the video, Hervé Blanchard, General Manager of Face Verticale and CEO of Mecamont, states that the investment was used for the rehabilitation and transformation of an old water tower into a training place. This allows the company to welcome bigger groups and to recreate specific working environment such as an industrial chimney for instance. The project received a guarantee, co-financed with resources from ERDF.
Resilient Innovation is a small company from Montpellier in the Occitanie Region. The loan received under the FOSTER initiative, co-financed with resources from ERDF, allowed them to implement their project, which primarily focuses on developing a device to help people who have physical movement limitations due to neurological impairment. The purpose of the device is to send an auditory stimulation through a sort of headset placed on the person’s head so that he/she can synchronise better his/her movements.
Ferme de Briola is an organic farm located in Saint Julien de Briola, France. In the video, Loic Albert, owner of the farm, explains how the investment was used for the modernisation of the milking parlour, which improves the working conditions and the quality of the product, and reduces the milking time. The farm received a guarantee on the financial support, co-financed with resources from the EAFRD.

FI Campus 2019 - Interview with Jonathan Dennes and Frank Lee

FI Campus 2019 – Interview with Jonathan Denness, DG REGIO and Frank Lee, EIB

26 March 2020   about 3.5 mins

Interview with Jonathan Denness, Head of Financial Instruments and International Financial Institutions Relations Unit, DG REGIO, European Commission, and Frank Lee, Head of Financial Instruments Advisory Division, European Investment Bank, recorded at the FI Campus 2019 event, 4-5 December 2019 in Brussels.

Event page:


Showcase 2023

FI Campus Showcase 2023

12 April 2023

A unique opportunity to share and promote your financial instrument success stories within the fi-compass community. Congratulations to our Showcase 2023 winners who took home the trophy at the FI Campus event on the 15 March and a round of applause for all our other submissions.

Participants at a fi-compass event.

FI Campus 2023 – Financial instruments in changing times

12 January 2023

The fi-compass team is happy to invite you to its first fully in person FI-Campus event since the pandemic. The 2023 edition will take place in Brussels from Monday, 13 March until Wednesday, 15 March 2023 and shed light on the opportunities offered by financial instruments as EU citizens and businesses face challenging economic times ahead.

inside the new processing facility.

United for success thanks to an EMFF financial instrument loan

25 December 2022

Thanks to two loans backed by the 2014-2020 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Financial Instrument, three former competitors in the Baltic fishing and fish processing industry have joined forces and invested in a modern plant that gives fish remains a second life.