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EU Blue Economy Observatory
News article23 March 20231 min read

Commission revises rules for fishery and aquaculture sector

The European Commission has revised its Guidelines for State aid in the fishery and aquaculture sector ('Fisheries Guidelines').

The updated Guidelines establish the conditions under which State aid granted by the Member States to support the fisheries and aquaculture sectors may be considered compatible with the Single Market. They reflect the EU strategic priorities, in particular the common fisheries policy, (‘CFP’), especially regarding the new European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (‘EMFAF') and the European Green Deal.

The new State aid regulations assist Member States in meeting the ambitious EU green targets by enhancing energy efficiency and minimising the impact of climate change without significant competitive distortions in the Single Market.

In particular, they introduce the following main changes:

(i) a broader scope of measures targeting animal diseases in aquaculture, allowing for aid to be granted for emerging animal diseases and certain invasive alien species;

(ii) new categories of aid, such as aid for fleet and cessation measures (in line with EMFAF) and aid for investments in equipment that contributes to safety of fishing vessels in the Union’s outermost regions.

At the same time, it should be noted that capacity enhancing measures are unlikely to be approved.

The new Guidelines were endorsed by the Commission in December 2022EN••• and will be applicable as of 1 April 2023.


Publication date
23 March 2023