The Netherlands can remain focused on sustainable fisheries

A cut in funding allocated to the Dutch fisheries sector as a result of negotiations on the European budget for 2014-2020 has been avoided. This development was reported by the Dutch Minister for Agriculture, Sharon Dijksma in a letter to the Dutch parliament after the debate in the Agricultural and Fisheries Council about the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The current fund for the Netherlands is about €50 million. Minister Dijksma has prevented the original decrease of 7%, particularly in view of the Netherlands’ strong focus on sustainability in the fisheries sector. Sustainable and innovative fisheries must ultimately result in making the sector independent, and the new fund is especially aimed at achieving this.

Marine life

The new fisheries fund was set up to finance the Common Fisheries Policy for the coming 7 years and replaces the current European Fisheries Fund. Maritime policy will also be integrated into this new fund, with the objective of promoting the sustainable use of the seas and oceans and by achieving economic growth of maritime sectors and coastal regions through cooperation. The EMFF is primarily a fund to support the Dutch fisheries sector in becoming innovative, sustainable and economically independent. As the same amount of money will be available from the new fund, the Netherlands can remain focused on areas such as techniques that prevent the disturbance of the seabed to preserve marine life. The development of innovative nets and the introduction of landing obligations also make it possible to apply more selective fishing techniques and to reduce unwanted by-catch. This is good for fish and the marine eco system.

Sustainable catch

Dijksma: 'Calls for sustainable fishing are becoming increasingly loud. The fish on our shelves has to meet an increasing number of requirements. That is good and also means that the fisheries sector will have to embed sustainable catching techniques into its methods in order to develop an independent and economically strong position. Reduced funds would hamper this process and that has now been avoided.'