The Danish Fisheries Agency has announced the launch of a new grant scheme, worth €5.37m, to improve the sustainability of aquaculture facilities and stimulate the growth of the sector.
Financed under the European Maritime and Fisheries development fund, the scheme will further the sustainability of aquaculture, whilst also increasing productivity and resource efficiency. The Danish Fisheries Agency has stressed the importance of converting existing aquaculture facilities to reduce the emission of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic material.
Existing salt and freshwater fish farms, including organic fish farms and FREA facilities, can apply for grants under the scheme. Those who wish to apply for the subsidy scheme must submit their applications before 7 January 2021. Projects that are eligible for this scheme must:
- Increase the resource efficiency and sustainability of aquaculture
- Minimise water consumption and improve water quality
- Diversify farmed species of fish
- Improve the productivity of the sector
Denmark is one of the world’s leading importers and exporters of fish and fish products. In 2013, the Danish aquaculture sector produced 48,292 tonnes of fish products, making the nation one of the largest contributors to aquaculture related emissions.
Projects that aim to improve the sustainability of aquaculture will be prioritised by the Danish Fisheries Agency according to the expected reduction of emissions. The agency suggests that these projects aim to create new treatment plants, such as filters and drums to reduce emissions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic material. However, grants can also be given for productive investments such as the purchase of new pumps.
The total public subsidy can amount to up to 40% of the total costs for the project, for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Larger companies may receive up to 30% of the cost of their sustainable conversion. An indicative financial framework of €5.37m has been set aside for the grant and individual subsidies must not exceed €537,574.
Grants for the projects are financed partly by EU funds from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (75%) and partly by national funds (25%).