The Ministry of Marine Affairs of the Galician Government earmarked EUR 16 million aid to aquaculture in the call for 2012, with a view to boost the competitiveness of this sector.

According to an official statement, eligible aid projects are investments for construction, expansion, equipping and modernization of aquaculture facilities.

The Government aims to ensure diversification into new species production and new market opportunities, improve safety conditions at work and production methods helping to protect and enhance nature preservation.

The Authority also clarified that those interested in building and modernizing dinghies for aquaculture will be entitled to benefit from the aid.

The Ministry informed that the deadline for applications is extended until 31 January.

Moreover, the Galician government will allocate EUR 19 million to the processing and marketing.

Those entitled to access these grants are processing establishments or marketing of fish, shellfish and aquaculture holders already existing in Galicia, and those who establish new centres in the community.

It will benefit those who produce high quality products for niche markets, or reduce the negative environmental impact, using little-used species, by-products and waste, and who market products mainly originating from local discharges and aquaculture.

In addition, the Ministry will invest EUR 120,000 to cover the costs of setting up fish producers’ organizations in 2010 and 2011 campaigns, and EUR 3 million for the permanent inshore craft included in the comprehensive management plan for inshore fishery of the Northwest Bay of Biscay in 2012.

In order to promote energy efficiency measures, the authority will provide EUR 5 million, given that the fuel is one of the biggest costs in running a ship, especially in some segments of the fleet.

Finally, the Galician government will allocate EUR 7 million to modernize its fleet and make it “more competitive and profitable” in the current economic situation.

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