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Horta ,  May 14, 2020

Regional Government to create support scheme for temporary cessation of fishing

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology announced that the Regional Government is preparing a support scheme for the temporary cessation of fishing activities in the Region. 

Gui Menezes stressed that this measure, "which is being prepared in conjunction with the Fisheries Federation and the Association of Fish Traders of the Azores, provides financial support for optional temporary cessation up to a maximum period of 15 days." 

It takes into account the lower demand for fish in markets due to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent drop in income.
According to Gui Menezes, this measure "can help regulating the quantity of fish unloaded in markets, providing an outlet for this product and avoiding a drop in fishers' income." 

The Regional Secretary stressed that the supply of markets "will always be assured, seeing that only 50% of the fleet of each fishing port in the Region will be allowed to cease its activity."
It should be noted that the optional temporary cessation of fishing is co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). 

"Due to the situation caused by the COVID-19, the European Union has relaxed the rules and criteria on the financing of the cessation of fishing activities," stressed Gui Menezes. 

"The planned financial allocation granted under EMFF was not increased, but rather reoriented towards various measures," said the government official. 

This new scheme, which is still being drafted by the Azorean Government, provides financial support for optional temporary cessations for periods of up to 15 days, with overall support limited to 60 days. 

The Regional Secretary stated that the amount of support "is still being discussed as well as the application rules." 

This fishing cessation measure is directed to various regional fleet segments. The financial support in question will take the form of a non-refundable and proportional subsidy in accordance with the fleet segment, the type of fishing gear used and the fish auction income of each vessel.

The Regional Secretary also said "the Regional Government has managed to streamline" the procedures for the anticipation of payments under the Compensation Scheme for Additional Costs in Fisheries, POSEI-FISHERIES, "which is expected to be paid this month." 

The overall amount of applications for POSEI-FISHERIES 2019 is estimated at 2.6 million Euros. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Regional Government has already implemented numerous support measures for the sector, including an additional income support scheme for fishing professionals, with 441 approved applications corresponding to an investment of more than 183 thousand Euros.
In addition, Fundopesca has been activated on two occasions, with an overall allocation of 420 thousand Euros, covering 650 professionals. 

The exemption from fees and payments for services charged by Lotaçor to producers, fish buyers and the canning industry already represents more than 200 thousand euros of support across the sector, revealed Gui Menezes. 

The government official pointed out to the creation of a permanent working group, composed of traders and producers in the sector, in order to manage and monitor markets and fishing activity, adding that "the sector has shown signs of recovery over the last two weeks.

The streamlining of procedures under SEA 2020, the possibility of financial support for the purchase of safety and sanitation equipment and the extension of the deadline for authorisation of onshore fishing were other measures mentioned by the Regional Secretary.



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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