Fisheries and Seafood Scheme opens latest funding round

Scottish Highlands fish farm shutterstock_752776594

Applications are now being invited for seafood sector projects as part of the UK government’s Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS). Around £6m in matched funding is set to be allocated.

FaSS is open for applications until 31 March 2025 or until all funding has been allocated, whichever happens first, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Funding is available for both new projects and existing projects who are already benefitting from the scheme.

The scheme, administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on behalf of Defra, has already committed more than £27m for around 1,300 projects. Its scope includes projects aimed at developing the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors, or enhancing the marine environment. Successful projects are expected to address areas such as health and safety, processing, partnerships, research and diversification.

Successful applicants will be able to invest in a range of activities such as health and safety equipment to continue to keep fishing crews safe, processing equipment to increase the value of seafood products, vessel modification to improve energy efficiency, innovation partnerships and support to diversify and create new forms of income.

Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said: “Our world-class fishing industry leads the way in making sure we offer the highest quality of seafood, support a multitude of highly skilled jobs and play a valuable role in ensuring our coastal communities thrive.

“This funding will help other projects and businesses to be more sustainable and resilient, enter new markets and improve our efforts to enhance and protect our precious marine environment.”

Paul Errington, MMO’s Acting Director of Finance and Resources, said: “We are delighted to continue to offer this valuable financial assistance to help strengthen England’s fishing community. FaSS has already enabled essential health and safety provisions for hundreds of fishers, helped businesses diversify their offering and helped amplify the voice and economic value of the fishing community.

“MMO’s grants team will guide fishers throughout the application process. They can offer advice on initial plans, or review expressions of interest, before the submission of a full application. Our investments so far are already making a difference and we look forward to building on these successes.”

The Scottish Government runs its own marine grant scheme, Marine Fund Scotland, which announced recipients of the 2023/24 funding round in January.

Mark Spencer MP, UK Fisheries Minister

Supporting fishers in Lyme Bay

Lyme Bay Fisherman’s Community Interest Company (CIC) represents nearly 50 inshore fishermen across four ports in the Southwest and has been supported through the FaSS scheme since November 2022.

Through £140,000 of funding the CIC has developed a website, created a seafood trail, developed a school’s outreach program to attract new recruits to the sector, and provided support to local businesses and shops through local scavenger hunts and engaging with regulators.

Lyme Bay Fisherman’s CIC Chief Executive Mandy Wolfe said: “We are so grateful to MMO for their support in getting our CIC up and running. No one has done this before and MMO has been fantastic throughout our evolution to help make sure we get the support that was needed to turn the aspiration into a reality.”

Other projects benefitting from FaSS include:

  • Larry’s Fishcakes, a seafood processing business in North Shields, which has received nearly £164,000 in funding to help the company diversify and enter the retail market.
  • Cornish Fish Producers Organisation which has received over £310,000 in investment in several projects to help with the marketing of seafood, health and safety of fishers, and to commission studies into spatial squeeze, economic value and the importance of the commercial fishing sector in Cornwall.
  • Approximately £8m has also been invested in more than 470 health and safety projects providing fishers with essentials such as PPE and equipment, to ensure safety and hygiene on board vessels and wellbeing of crew.

For more information about FaSS and how to contact MMO’s grants team, visit

Fishing vessel Sambe, Lyme Bay Fisherman’s CIC



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