European Fisheries Fund criticised for failings
A report published by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) says that measures to support sustainable aquaculture up to 2013 were not well designed or implemented at EU Member State level.
The report also said that as the funding instrument of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) failed to deliver value for money and effective support for the sustainable support of aquaculture.
Kevin Cardiff, ECA Member responsible for the report, said: “We found that the main objectives for growth of the aquaculture have not been met and the sector has stagnated for many years.”
He added that although the financial crisis undoubtedly contributed to the situation, the projects audited were often poorly selected and with some exceptions, did not deliver expected results or value for money.
One worrying concern was that there appeared some major discrepancies when it came to reporting results by Member States.
Mr Cardiff added: “We hope that our observations and recommendations will be used as lessons learned for the implementation of the new EMFF measures for aquaculture starting this year.”
The ECA has recommended, among many other improvements that need to be made, that the Commission considers whether objectives are realistic and appropriate when approving Member States’ operational programmes.
It also needs to consider that Members States operational programmes are only approved if appropriate national strategies for the development of the aquaculture sector are prepared.
The Commission has responded by indicating that it will act on various recommendations.
The European Parliament agreed on the €6.5bn European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) back in April, but a number of key industry players have since voiced their concerns over its implementation.
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