£1-million funding for small boat fishing fleet projects – Fishupdate.com

£1-million funding for small boat fishing fleet projects Published:  16 November, 2010

A NEW fund of £1 million has been launched to support innovative projects in the under 10-metre fishing sector in England.

The Marine Management Organisation says anyone working with or in the sector can apply for the funding made available under the European Fisheries Fund.

The new EFF Innovation Fund offers up to 90 per cent towards projects over £500. Applications can be made until 31 March 2011 from anyone with new ideas to improve the way the sector operates. There is a particular need for ideas that will help share ideas and best practices, improve safety, reduce the environmental impact of fishing, including discards, and increase catch quality and value.

Fisheries minister Richard Benyon said: “The Government is committed to helping England’s small scale fishing fleet develop more sustainable ways of working in order to ensure their long-term future. Innovation will play a central part and I am delighted that we have been able to secure funding specifically to support this.

“We are challenging anyone with a vision for the future of the under 10-metre fleet to bring us their ideas for projects of all sizes, from individuals to those involving the wider community.”

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis and will be judged by a panel including representatives from the fishing industry. One member of the judging panel is Nathan de Rozarieux, a fisherman and former Project Director of Seafood Cornwall. Nathan said: “I’m pleased to be involved in the judging panel as I believe getting the best price for catches and innovating with technologies old and new are critically important for the future of the inshore sector.” The funding will be allocated on a first come first served basis so I’d encourage anyone who has an idea to get in touch as soon as possible to find out how they may be able to benefit.”

The Innovation Fund is open to applicants from Cornwall working in or directly with the under 10-metre sector. More information is available at www.marinemanagement.org.uk/fisheries/funding/eff_innovation.htm