This topic is part of the call : "Regional flagships projects supporting sustainable blue economy in EU sea basins (EMFAF-2023-PIA-FLAGSHIP)" part of the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programme.
The main objective of this topic is to support the diversification of the income sources for fisheries communities in the Atlantic area by promoting activities related to the sustainable blue economy.
This topic will focus on:
- Integration of tourism products and services provided by fishers and fisheries associations into the local/regional/sea basin tourist offers;
- Support fishers and other interested stakeholders, to assess the interest and feasibility to set up new regenerative ocean farms or restore coastal marine ecosystems, including by testing these approaches;
- Promotion of job creation in the field of sustainable blue economy.
Activities that can be funded:
Selected projects should carry out to the maximum extent possible the indicative (not exhaustive) activities listed below:
- Awareness raising and increasing social acceptance by showcasing results of existing projects related to fisheries diversification and benefits derived from them;
- Engaging local stakeholders and communities;
- Coaching, advisory services, mentoring, training for fishers in areas as for example pesca-tourism, eco-tourism, cultural heritage, shellfish and/or regenerative ocean farming, etc.;
- Promoting entrepreneurial activities amongst local fishers, offering the fishers initial training on maritime-coastal cultural and natural heritage or regenerative ocean farming;
- Providing training programmes on sustainability (green skills), digital skills, entrepreneurial and soft (customer service, languages) skills, communication and awareness-raising, tutoring services for new businesses, and the development of series of good practices guides and protocols;
- Matchmaking activities or other forms of support for cooperation among related blue economy SMEs/start-ups and other stakeholders;
- Developing and promoting marketing of coastal-maritime tourism routes including fisheries/aquaculture tourism products/services or demonstrating and test-base innovative methods for regenerative ocean farming, of either local seaweed species or seaweed in combination with shellfish;
- Creating local and regional networks to foster interaction between fisheries communities and economic operators in close cooperation with the local and regional government authorities.
Applicants shall explain in the proposal the added-value of their projects compared to similar actions implemented under national EMFAF Operational Programmes (shared management).
Applicants will describe in their proposals the concrete and measurable results within the duration of the project and their expected impact, including indicators for the monitoring and measurement of progress.
Projects are expected to achieve the following impacts to the maximum extent possible in line with the proposed activities:
- New product/services integrated in the local/regional/sea basin tourism offer;
- New jobs created;
- Set up of new tourist routes including Pesca-tourism and eco-tourism;
- Increased awareness and engagement of coastal stakeholders (including public authorities and tourism offices) in relation to fisheries diversification activities and environmental protection;
- Proven technical feasibility of regenerative ocean farming;
- Measure and quantify economic and environmental benefits of regenerative farming, including:
- market potential and job opportunities;
- the capacity of reversing degradation of ocean ecosystems and restoring their ecological functionality;
- Increased awareness among coastal communities of the opportunities offered by regenerative ocean farming, including social acceptance.
The above list of expected impacts is non-exhaustive and applicants may add others if deemed relevant to achieve the objectives of this topic.
In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
- be legal entities (public or private bodies)
- be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs);
- non-EU countries that are part of the sea basin strategies and/or regional cooperation frameworks targeted in this call for proposals:
- For Topic 2: Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey;
- For Topic 3 and Topic 4: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Albania,
North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Beneficiaries and affiliated entities must register in the Participant Register — before submitting the proposal — and will have to be validated by the Central Validation Service (REA Validation). For the validation, they will be requested to upload documents showing legal status and origin.
Other entities may participate in other consortium roles, such as associated partners, subcontractors, third parties giving in-kind contributions, etc (see section 13).
Exceptional funding — Entities from countries mentioned in the work programme (if any) are only exceptionally eligible, if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the action.
Natural persons — Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of selfemployed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
International organisations — International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.
Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’.
Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible).
EU restrictive measures — Special rules apply for certain entities (e.g. entities subject to EU restrictive measures under Article 29 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU)34 and entities covered by Commission Guidelines No 2013/C 205/0535). Such entities are not eligible to participate in any capacity, including as beneficiaries, affiliated entities, associated partners, subcontractors or recipients of financial support to third parties (if any). For more information, see Rules for Legal Entity Validation, LEAR Appointment and Financial Capacity Assessment.
Projects should normally range between 12 and 36 months (extensions are possible, if duly justified and through an amendment).
The available call budget is EUR 7 600 000. This budget might be increased by maximum 20%. Project budgets (maximum grant amount) are expected to range between EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project, but this does not preclude the submission/selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Hence, project budgets (maximum grant amount) per topic are expected to range between:
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project - Topic 1: Diversification of fisheries activities in the Atlantic area
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 600 000 per project - Topic 2: Harnessing preparedness and response to marine pollution in the Black Sea
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project - Topic 3: Sustainable transport and ports in the Mediterranean
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project - Topic 4: Maritime clusters as an innovative enabler for a Sustainable Blue Economy in the Mediterranean
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 1 000 000 per project - Topic 5: Sustainable maritime and coastal tourism in the Outermost Regions
- EUR 400 000 and EUR 600 000 per project - Topic 6: Regenerative ocean farming in the Baltic Sea Region
For more Information, please consult the funding details on the European Commission portal: Portal.