Of the 90 projects subsidized by the Xunta of Galicia (local government grants) for an amount of EUR 5.2 million for the 2019 period, 75 projects are from mussel production companies and represent a contribution value of more than EUR 4.3 million.
During a visit she made yesterday to a polygon of mussel rafts in the Aldán estuary, the head of the Ministry of Marine Affairs of Galicia, Rosa Quintana, stressed that the "bateeiros" (people who work at the mussel rafts) benefit from around 83% of the aid approved for improvements in the field of aquaculture that promote sustainable activity.
There she also explained that in the 2019 call for these contributions, co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), a total of 90 projects are subsidized for an amount of EUR 5.2 million. Of these, 75 belong to companies dedicated to the production of mussels and represent an aid value of more than EUR 4.3 million. By provinces, 90% of the contributions granted in Pontevedra goes to companies dedicated to the production of this bivalve and in the province of A Coruña the sector concentrates 82% of the total grants.
Rosa Quintana listening to a bateeiro. (Photo: Xunta)
Quintana said that this prominence of the mussels is also reflected in the activity, since the cultivation of this bivalve is the maximum exponent of aquaculture in the Galician community, an area in which it represents more than 95% of the total production volume. In addition, she said that in 2018 the sector achieved the best figures since 2009, with about 278,700 tonnes worth more than EUR 128 million.
Floating rafts for mussel farming. (Photo: courtesy of La Voz de Galicia) ►
She explained that through these grants, Galicia promotes sustainable aquaculture in the environmental, responsible, knowledge-based and competitive environment. To this end, the Ministry of Marine Affairs subsidizes actions for productive investments in aquaculture, to diversify production and to modernize facilities in this sector. Under these contributions, investments are also financed to improve the quality of the product or to increase its value.
Quintana said that among the projects approved in this call for the mussel sector are the construction and modernization of vessels with different elements and the modernization and construction of floating rafts.
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An example of a subsidized project with this type of aid, she said, is the construction of the Dorinda III mussel raft, the object of yesterday's visit, and which belongs to the company Trascomar Aldán. This project received EUR 24,400 to boost its purchase, sale and distribution activity.
Quintana recalled that these contributions are intended for bateeiros, fishermen's associations and aquaculture producers that promote sustainable activity, owners aquaculture facilities located on land, in marine-land areas or at sea within the autonomous community.
She also recalled that this year the Xunta convened for the first time, also within the framework of the EMFF, aid for innovation projects in this area developed by aquaculture producers, including the brotherhoods and associations and organizations of bateeiros, in collaboration with scientific or technical organizations.