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European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF)

Objectives and goals of the funding programme

The EMFAF runs from 2021 to 2027 and supports the EU common fisheries policy (CFP), the EU maritime policy and the EU agenda for international ocean governance.  It has a priority to increase employment and territorial cohesion in coastal and inland communities that depend on fishing and aquaculture. The EMFAF provides support for developing innovative projects to ensure that aquatic and maritime resources are used sustainably. Among other actions, it facilitates:

  • The supply of quality and healthy seafood to European consumers; 
  • Improving skills and working conditions in fisheries and aquaculture;
  • The economic and social vitality of coastal communities;
  • Maritime security for a safe maritime space;
  • International cooperation to ensure healthy, safe and sustainably managed oceans.

Type of Programme

European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF)

Funding type/type of support

Financing (Loans/Guarantees)

Organizational level


Programme Focus

Competitiveness, research and innovation, Skills, Sustainable tourism, Smart / digital tourism

Programme relevant for/ target group

SMEs and micro companies

Geographic area

European Union

The total budget for 2021-2027 is €6.108 billion.

The maximum co-financing rate is 70%, with the exception of 100% for compensation in the outermost regions to cover additional costs.

In particular the small coastal fishing enterprise.

The EMFAF supports innovative projects that contribute to the sustainable exploitation and management of aquatic and maritime resources.

In particular, it facilitates:

  • The transition to sustainable and low-carbon fishing;
  • The protection of marine biodiversity and ecosystems;
  • The supply of quality and healthy seafood to European consumers;
  • The socio-economic attractiveness and the generational renewal of the fishing sector, in particular as regards small-scale coastal fisheries;
  • The development of a sustainable and competitive aquaculture contributing to food security;
  • The improvement of skills and working conditions in the fishing and aquaculture sectors;
  • The economic and social vitality of coastal communities;
  • Innovation in the sustainable blue economy;
  • Maritime security towards a safe maritime space;
  • International cooperation towards healthy, safe and sustainably managed oceans.

One of the fund’s priorities focuses on enabling a sustainable blue economy in coastal, island and inland areas. The EMFAF also aims to foster the development of fishing and aquaculture communities.

These priorities are the most relevant for the tourism ecosystem, as they support community-led local development and could cover projects such as eco and pesca-tourism, local gastronomy in fish and seafood restaurants, accommodation, tourist trails and diving. The EMFAF also supports local partnerships in coastal tourism.

This fund supports actions and investments to protect aquatic biodiversity and to sustainable and low-impact fishing and aquaculture activities. It also:

  • Promotes the supply of quality and healthy seafood products for European consumers;
  • Supports the development of a sustainable blue economy in coastal communities;
  • Contributes to maritime surveillance and international cooperation on ocean governance.


The European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) co-finances projects alongside national funding streams. Each EU country receives a share of the total budget in relation to the size of its fishing industry. In accordance with the rules of this fund, EU countries draw up their national programmes, specifying how they intend to spend the money depending on their needs. The relevance of EMFAF to the tourism ecosystem might therefore differ from one EU country to the other.

  • Project Title: North East Meltemi

Meltemi is a project financed under the “Nautical Routes for Europe” call. The objective of the MELTEMI project was to bring together Greek and Turkish Aegean coastlines that were less known or less accessible. To help local economies, the project strived to promote those islands, their communities of artisans, their gastronomical tradition, unique cultures and beaches created for sailing, surfing and kiteboarding. MELTEMI also organised beach clean-ups and published recommendations on how to adapt sailing tours for people with disabilities to make sure historical and natural treasure are accessible to all.

EU contribution: €284,900 


  • Project Title: Mar das Illas

The project helps new start-up businesses that give fishers’ earnings a boost, while also ensuring the continuity of traditional fishing practices and diversification into pesca-tourism. Mar das Illas also tried to increase the visibility and local awareness of the natural environment and its conservation.

EU contribution: €85,229 


  • Project Title: Discovery of shellfish farming in the Pays d’Auray

The Pays d’Auray has been shaped by fishing and shellfish farming. These sectors are influenced by residential demand. As a result, a private-public partnership was created to develop a targeted tourism offer for the discovery of fishing and shellfish farming. For instance, visits to shellfish farming sites were organised.