European Fisheries Fund (EFF)

In order to provide financial support for the fisheries sector, the European Commission introduced the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) for the period 2007-2013.

Aims of the fund

This tranche of funding closed on 30 September 2014

The EFF aims to provide support to four basic areas, under six overall aims, including:

  • support the Common Fisheries Policy to ensure exploitation of living aquatic resources in a way which creates the necessary conditions for sustainability in economic, environmental and social terms
  • promote a sustainable balance between resources and fleet capacity
  • strengthen competitiveness and the development of economically viable enterprises in the sector
  • foster the protection of the environment and natural resources
  • encourage sustainable development and the improvement of the quality of life in marine, lake and coastal areas affected by fishing and aquaculture activities
  • promote equality between women and men in the development of the sector and coastal fishing areas

EFF funding available in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is classed as an area with non-convergence status and has been allocated EFF grant-aid of approximately €18.1 million. EU support will be matched by national funding representing an investment of over €36 million in fisheries projects in Northern Ireland.

Priority axes for EFF funding

Support will be provided under EFF based on four priority axes. These are:

  • adaptation of the Community fishing fleet
  • aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and marketing of fisheries and aquaculture products
  • measures of collective benefit
  • sustainable development of fisheries areas

Previous measures

On Monday 3 August 2009, former DARD Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA announced the opening of the first three measures of the EFF. A further four measures were subsequently opened.  

On Thursday 17 October 2013, DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA announced the opening of a further measure, the sustainable development of fisheries areas.  This measure closed on 29 November 2013.

Most recent measures

Measure Opening Date Closing Date Budget
Collective actions 3 August 2009 30 September 2014


Productive investments in aquaculture 3 August 2009 30 September 2014 £1,600,000
Investments in processing and marketing 3 August 2009 30 September 2014


Fishing ports, landing sites and shelters 20 August 2009 30 September 2014 £3,500,000
Investments on board fishing vessels and selectivity

1 September 2010

30 September 2014


Small-scale coastal fishing 23 February 2011 30 September 2014


The most recent tranche of the European Fisheries Fund closed for applications under the Collective Actions, Aquaculture, Processing and Marketing, Ports, Landing Sites and Shelters, Investments on board and Small-scale Coastal Fishing measures on 30 September 2014.

EFF transparency initiative

It is a requirement of the EU Commission that all beneficiaries of grant aid from the EFF are publicised. This is done through the European Transparency Initiative, which requires the following information to be made public:

  • name of the beneficiary
  • name of the operation (project title/brief description)
  • year of allocation (year the project is approved)
  • year of payment (year that the final claim for payment is made)
  • amount of EFF funding committed
  • amount of national funding committed
  • total amount paid

list of beneficiaries will be updated at least twice a year.


Fisheries helpdesk Tel: 028 4461 8101

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