Rosa Quintana announced grant extensions for the aquaculture sector. (Photo: Xunta/Marm/FIS)
EUR 12 million to boost aquaculture in Galicia
Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
Xunta de Galicia decided to extend the grants for the aquaculture sector with the support from other EUR 12 million, in addition to the EUR 16 million awarded in January.
According to the head of the Ministry of Marine Affairs, Rosa Quintana, this extension is done to "increase the number of beneficiaries of these grants and to be able to use them to cover as many needs as possible."
The official measure – published on Tuesday in Diario Oficial de Galicia (DOG) -- seeks to enhance the competitiveness especially in the shellfish culture and production sectors.
The grants will be used to launch construction, extension, equipment and modernization projects of aquaculture facilities in order to diversify the production of species.
They will also improve working conditions and workers’ safety, production methods and the construction and modernization of spare vessels.
"Regardless of the blockages" suffered by the aquaculture sector, the regional government is willing to "take on the challenge of aquaculture" from the economic, social and environmental angles, said the minister.
Besides, she stressed that the sector needs "legal security" -- for that aim a lot is being done on the Master Plan for Aquaculture -- and support for investments by extending subsidies.
The Galician Government recently declared aquaculture as a public interest activity for the autonomous region.
Regarding the new plan, Quintana said "these are the best tools for Galicia to recover the growth and the boost of aquaculture in Europe and worldwide."
In 2010, aquaculture turnover was EUR 167 million, according to statistics from the Xunta.
61 per cent of the grants stipulated by the Executive in Galicia is co-funded by the European Fisheries Fund.
By Analia Murias