Strong north-south difference have been set aside to agree on multi-million-euro spending in the Europena Union’s fisheries sector.
Since May, national experts have made technical changes that finally proved acceptable to a majority of EU governments.
EU fisheries ministers struck a deal in Luxemburg on their third attempt in a year.
States such as France, Italy and Spain were more reluctant about the adjustments than most northern states.
The plan for the next seven years’ spending, set at 3.8 billion euros, had been on the table since July
The general aim, apart from encouraging the use of environmentally-friendly equipment and practices in fishing and aquaculture, was reduction, to help the recovery of overfished stocks.
Most of the changes to the final version of the 2007-2013 budget relate to technical criteria for funding replacement engines, particularly engine size.
EU subsidies may now be given to inland fishing areas, not just coastal and open-sea.
Young fishermen buying their first boats, will qualify for EU aid on the condition they are under age 40 and have at least five years experience.
The plan looks at these main areas: environmental protection; fish farming and general marketing; ‘common interest’ projects, such as modernising ports or finding new markets; sustainable development of coastal areas; and gathering expert reports.