Eight innovative new projects supporting the UK’s fishing industry to become more productive and sustainable have been awarded a share of £1.4 million.
This funding is the first part of the £24 million earmarked from the £100 million UK Seafood Fund specifically for science and innovation projects to invest in new technology, trial new gear and support world-class research.
One of the successful applicants announced today is a project trialling the use of kites and Looming Eye buoys to deter seabirds from diving into the water near to an operational fishery and getting entangled in nets. It’s hoped the project will help to protect the UK’s vital but threatened seabird populations.
Another winning project will explore the use of artificial lights to change fish behaviour with a long term goal to look at more selective and sustainable ways of trawling for nephrops and squid.
The £100 million UK Seafood Fund was launched with the intention of helping level up coastal communities across the UK. Alongside the funding for science and innovation, it also includes a £65 million infrastructure scheme announced in December which will be made available for projects such as modernising ports and harbours, and a further £10 million to encourage new entrants into the processing, catching and aquaculture sectors, alongside training and upskilling current workers.
The funding has been awarded through the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme, established to strengthen relations between industry and research organisations.
This is the first in a series of funding rounds that will see the fishing and seafood industry supported to work with scientists to research more productive and sustainable fishing gear and gather new data to more sustainably manage the UK’s fish stocks. Applications for a second round of funding will open on Wednesday 2nd March and will run until 25th April.