Fishing and aquaculture are important economic activities in the European Union, in particular in coastal areas where there are few alternatives. They help to supply the European market, on which demand now tends to outstrip supply. Faced with both the worrying problem of dwindling fish stocks and the challenge of a globalised economy, our fishing industry has, for some years now, been undergoing a process of change essential to the long-term exploitation of resources and a return to competitiveness.
Under its common fisheries policy (CFP), the Community is taking an active part in this restructuring via the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). To help with the conversion and diversification of their economic fabric, most of the areas dependent on fishing can also apply for funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).