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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF)

This webpage covers the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) strictly as part of funding projects related to tourism.

Why is it relevant to tourism?

The fund supports actions and investments that contribute to the protection of aquatic biodiversity and to sustainable and low-impact fishing and aquaculture activities. It also promotes the supply of quality and healthy seafood products to European consumers, supports the development of a sustainable blue economy in coastal communities, and contributes to maritime surveillance and international cooperation on ocean governance.

The European Maritime and Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund co-finances projects alongside national funding streams, with each EU country receiving a share of the total budget in relation to the size of its fishing industry. In accordance with the rules of the fund, EU countries draw up their national programmes, specifying how they intend to spend the money depending on their needs. Therefore, the relevance to the tourism ecosystem might differ from one EU country to the other.

Overview of tourism-related components

One of the fund’s priorities focuses on enabling a sustainable blue economy in coastal, island and inland areas, and fostering the development of fishing and aquaculture communities. This priority is the most relevant for the tourism ecosystem, as it supports community-led local development and could cover tourism-related projects such as eco-tourism, pesca-tourism, local gastronomy (fish and seafood restaurants), accommodation, tourist trails, diving, as well as supporting local partnerships in coastal tourism.

Details of the programme

The EMFAF runs from 2021 to 2027 and supports the EU common fisheries policy (CFP), the EU maritime policy and the EU agenda for international ocean governance. The EMFAF has as a priority to increase employment and territorial cohesion in coastal and inland communities depending on fishing and aquaculture  It provides support for developing innovative projects ensuring that aquatic and maritime resources are used sustainably. It facilitates amongst others

  • the supply of quality and healthy seafood to European consumers
  • the improvement of skills and working conditions in fisheries and aquaculture
  • the economic and social vitality of coastal communities
  • maritime security contributing to a safe maritime space
  • international cooperation contributing to healthy, safe and sustainably managed oceans

Additional information and how to apply

Example(s) of supported projects

Project Title: North East Meltemi

Description: Meltemi is a project financed under the 'Nautical Routes for Europe' call. The objective of the MELTEMI project was to bring together Greek and Turkish Aegean coastlines that were less known or less accessible. To help local economies, the project strived to promote those islands, their communities of artisans, their gastronomical tradition, unique cultures and beaches created for sailing, surfing and kiteboarding. MELTEMI also organised beach clean-ups and published recommendations on how to adapt sailing tours for people with disabilities to make sure historical and natural treasure are accessible to all.

EU contribution: €284,900

Level of EU funding: 80% of eligible costs incurred

Link to project: North East Meltemi


Project Title: Mar das Illas

Description: The project helps new start-up businesses that give fishers’ earnings a boost, while also ensuring the continuity of traditional fishing practices and diversification into pesca-tourism. Mar das Illas also tried to increase the visibility and local awareness of the natural environment and its conservation.

EU contribution: €85,229

Level of EU funding: 85%

Link to project: Mar das Illas


Project Title: Discovery of shellfish farming in the Pays d'Auray

Description: The Pays d'Auray has been shaped by fishing and shellfish farming. These sectors are influenced by residential demand. As a result, a private-public partnership was created to develop a targeted tourism offer for the discovery of fishing and shellfish farming. For instance, visits to shellfish farming sites were organised.

Link to project: Auray & Vannes FLAG | FARNET (

Database of examples

FARNET Good Practices (