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Horta ,  March 27, 2020

Regional Government implements immediate measures to support fisheries sector

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology presented today in Horta a series of measures intended to support the income of fishing professionals, following the situation that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gui Menezes announced the increase of financial allocations under the Azores Fishers' Salary Compensation Fund, commonly designated as Fundopesca, by 350 thousand euros, through the Regional Budget. 

"This increase was calculated based on the number of beneficiaries of the first activation of Fundopesca, which took place on January 8, and also has as reference minimum wage in force in the Region," added the government official. 

Gui Menezes spoke at a press conference, where he pointed out that Fundopesca now has an overall appropriation of 440 thousand Euros. 

The Regional Secretary also stated that the Regional Director for Fisheries and, inherently, the President of Fundopesca's Administration Board “will carry out a written consultation with the members of the Board next Wednesday, April 1, to assess its eventual activation.” 
“It is expected that, at that time, the conditions for its activation will be met,” the government official said, adding that “the first 15 days of compensation will be paid in this phase to about 650 fishers, corresponding to an estimated amount of 215 thousand Euros." 

Gui Menezes also announced the creation of a special income support scheme for fishers who cannot benefit from Fundopesca. 

Under this new scheme, "which should be formalised in April," the criteria for the allocation of support must be similar to those applicable to the granting of aid under Fundopesca. 

In turn, Gui Menezes revealed that the Government will anticipate the 2019 payments of the Compensation Scheme for Additional Costs in Fisheries, commonly known as POSEI-FISHERIES.

“According to normal procedures, payments would only take place between July and September this year,” said the government official said. As he stressed, “with the additional effort of regional services and in close collaboration with shipowners' associations and national authorities, we intend to anticipate these payments by 30 and 60 days.”
Although the payment amounts for the 2019 POSEI-FISHERIES applications will only be calculated during the month of April, Gui Menezes stated that, considering the average amounts of support annually paid over the last three years, this figure will reach 2.6 million Euros, which will benefit about six hundred shipowners. 

Gui Menezes also highlighted the creation of a line of credit for the settlement and renegotiation of debts, and the acquisition of production factors.
"Following the close coordination between the Regional Secretariat for the Sea and the Ministry of the Sea, operators in the regional fishing sector will benefit from a line of credit line of up to 20 million Euros for a five-year period, with the payment of interests guaranteed by the State," said the Regional Secretary. 
This line of credit is intended to provide financial means for the settlement and renegotiation of debts as well as the acquisition of production factors.
In this context, the Financing Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries - IFAP will be responsible for monitoring and controlling this line of credit. In the case of applications submitted by operators based in the Azores, it will work in collaboration with the competent regional administration departments with a view to verifying the conditions of access and checking the amount of loans to be granted. 

The Regional Secretary informed that the operation of fish markets and first-sale fish auction sites was “ensured and adjusted” with “a demanding contingency plan” implemented by place by Lotaçor, “so as not to jeopardise the supply of fish to the Azorean population.” 

Gui Menezes recalled that the fees charged by Lotaçor to fish producers and buyers and to the canning industry have been suspended since March 21 and for a period of 90 days. 

"In conjunction with SATA, we have undertaken all efforts to ensure the transport of fish with the aim of continuing to supply the domestic market," Gui Menezes said, emphasising that efforts are being made "to guarantee the import of raw materials for the canning industry."

“We are attentive to the evolution of this activity and we have never forgotten fishers, shipowners or Azorean fish traders,” stressed the Regional Secretary. In this regard, he urged fishing professionals in the Azores “to comply with the recommendations of the Regional Health Authority on a daily basis, both on land and at sea."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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