English fishermen and those working in the seafood sector can apply for a share of the new Maritime Fisheries Fund (MFF), which is designed to ensure the fishing and seafood industry continues to thrive once the UK leaves the EU on 31st October.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has opened applications for £15.40 million from two UK fishing funds.
The £14.70 million share of a £37.20 million UK-wide fund announced last December, will encourage the take up of innovation and technology, supporting jobs in coastal communities. In addition, £700,000 from a £2 million UK-wide fund announced in the 2018 Budget is ringfenced for fishing safety improvements on board English vessels and around ports and harbours.
The three-year fund builds on the government’s commitment to secure a fairer share of fishing opportunities for UK fishermen as it takes back control of fishing waters and establishes the UK as an independent coastal state.
‘We are taking back control of our waters and establishing the UK as an independent coastal state, with a fairer share of fishing opportunities for the whole of the UK fleet,’ said Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers.
‘We are committed to a thriving fishing and seafood industry, and this funding will support innovation, jobs, safety at sea and help establish new markets and opportunities as we leave the EU.’
The fund in England is open to applications that support innovation in technologies to enhance economic growth, increase energy efficiency, reduce environmental impact and improve fishing safety, improve port infrastructure, boost coastal communities, help the sector adjust or improve safety on fishing vessels or on shore.
‘I would encourage all fishermen to look closely at this new fund to see if it can help their businesses adjust to the new circumstances we will be operating under as the UK emerges as an independent coastal state,’ commented NFFO chief executive Barrie Deas.
This fund is in addition to the existing European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) funding. The government has already guaranteed that all EMFF projects approved before 31st December 2020 will be fully funded, bringing the total support package available to the UK fisheries sector from 2016 to 2022 to £320 million.
The Devolved Administrations will each lead on their own schemes.
This new fund is open for applications in England until March 2022. Submissions are to be made through the Marine Management Organisation’s dedicated GOV.UK page.