Aid to the fishing sector affected by the end of the Moroccan agreement can be requested from this Tuesday

A total of 120,000 euros will go to shipowners and 182,000 to crew members


The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has published this Monday in the Official State Gazette (BOE) the aid, co-financed between the European Commission (EC) and the Government, for boats and crew members affected by the end of the fishing protocol between the European Union and Morocco, which ended this Monday, July 17, after 4 years of validity, and may be requested as of this Tuesday.

Specifically, the Department headed by Luis Planas has accelerated the procedures so that the fishing fleet affected by the completion of the fishing protocol between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco can receive aid “as soon as possible”.

Likewise, the use by the ministry of the aid authorized in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (FEMP) allows an immediate response to this situation and alleviates the socioeconomic impact on the fleet that fished in the Moroccan fishing ground.

To channel this support, the ministry has published this Monday in the BOE the extracts of the two orders calling for aid, for owners of Spanish fishing vessels and for crew members enrolled in said vessels.

These aids, which will be granted on a competitive bidding basis, are in the nature of aid for temporary cessation of fishing activity, in accordance with the provisions of both Community and national regulations.

Both calls will have 302,000 euros in the 2023 financial year, 50% financed by the FEMP and by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Of this amount, 120,000 euros will go to shipowners and 182,000 to crew members.

The deadline for submitting applications will be 15 business days from the day after the extract is published in the BOE.

Given that the stoppage affects vessels from more than one autonomous community, Andalusia and the Canary Islands, the General Secretariat for Fisheries will be in charge of managing the aid for shipowners. In the case of crew members, the management will correspond to the Social Institute of the Navy.

Spain obtained 92 licenses of the 128 that were granted to fish in Moroccan waters, but only 21 boats requested a license to do so in 2021 and 2022, or in 2023.

The aid will be distributed among the owners and crew members of the 11 vessels that fished for at least 20 days in the three-year period 2021-2023 in the Moroccan fishing ground (the next vessel below this amount only fished for 3 days) and that also meet the requirement set by the European Commission if they have not received more than 180 days of aid for temporary stoppage in the FEMP period (2014 to 2023).

The renewal of the fishing protocol with Morocco, which expired on Monday, July 17, is awaiting a ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).