A new fi-compass video snapshot features Miguel Peña Castellot from the European Commission’s DG MARE explaining that financial instruments are a great opportunity to leverage investment from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
Mr. Peña Castellot starts by stressing the fact that financial instruments work for the fisheries sector in exactly the same way they work for other sectors, with the view to maximise the impact of investments, which is a key objective of both the European Commission and managing authorities. He underlines that “financial instruments are a way to maximise impact because of their revolving nature and because they attract private financing”.
Speaking about the types of projects that EMFF financial instruments can support, Mr. Peña Castellot noted opportunities for fishing crews “for example in the acquisition of more selective gear, or for training on-board, or for helping newcomers buy fishing vessels, or to diversify activities”. While these schemes have clear economic and social impacts, they must also be consistent with environmental sustainability. As highlighted by Mr. Peña Castellot, “investments that refer to the selectivity of engines, the increase in the efficiency of engines, the reduction of emissions, the use of by-catches, the ways to deal with discards and to reduce the impact of fishing on the sea world, are all areas that can be covered by financial instruments”.
And there are more. The Scoping study for the use of financial instruments under the EMFF and related advisory support activities gives a list of activities that could receive EMFF support through financial instruments (see section 3.3 of the report).
There is still ample room for the use of financial instruments in the fisheries sector and the experience of managing authorities that have successfully implemented financial instruments under the EMFF will help convince others. Therefore fi-compass is producing case study material that collates and disseminates such practice. As Mr. Peña Castellot sums up“fi-compass is extremely important because of its awareness raising element” including through the use of case studies.