The UK Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has opened applications for a new grant scheme that will support the fishing and seafood sector in England.
The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme will provide £6.1 million (US$8.35 million) over the next 12 months to support England’s seafood sector, coastal communities, and marine environment.
Initially the fund will focus on projects that help businesses adapt their operations outside the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and recover from the impacts of Covid-19. It will also fund a wide range of projects from providing professional advice to local businesses and encouraging local sales, to making fishing gear more selective of size and species and working conditions safer.
The MMO said the scheme will also work with the fishing industry to reduce emissions and provide environmental improvements.
The MMO will administrate the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme will match fund projects that aim to:
- Create new opportunities for businesses – such as new local markets and support to sell a wider range of products
- Support business to adapt to new markets and respond to new trading conditions
- Support sustainable innovation – with the potential to boost the traceability of the fish landed and promote environmentally-friendly processing methods
- Protect the environment – with equipment that reduces the impact of fishing on the marine environment
- Improve safety on fishing vessels and on shore – by supporting a high standard of health, safety, hygiene, and working conditions across the seafood sector
The scheme draws on the £13.5 million (US$18.5 million) allocated to England to deliver financial support, carry out essential monitoring and support the sustainable management of fisheries and the marine environment.
This fund is in addition to the £23 million (US$31.5 million) recently delivered through the Seafood Disruption Support Scheme and the Seafood Response Fund to seafood exporters and fishing and aquaculture businesses affected by Covid-19 and new trading conditions earlier this year.
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