Detailed guide: Maritime and Fisheries Fund (MFF): apply for funding

Marine Management Organisation

January 22
10:10 2020

You should read the MFF General Guidance (RTF, 1.66MB) note and the specific guidance note relating to the type of project you want to apply for before completing and submitting your application online.

You should apply online using the MFF E-System

The MFF e-system applicant user guide will assist you in your application.

MFF assessment panel for applications over 100,000

The MMO will be holding panels to consider MFF applications for projects costing 100,000 and over. Any project applications costing 100,000 and over received after the dates shown below will not be considered at that panel. Applications of less than 100,000 will continue to be assessed on a regular basis and are not affected by these deadlines.


There are different eligibility requirements depending on who you are and what project you are applying for. In general, to qualify for MFF funds you need to be a private business and your project needs to support the overall aims of the MFF which are to:

  • make the fisheries and aquaculture sectors more sustainable
  • conservation of the marine environment

Projects from public applicants or those that dont support the aims wont be eligible for support. These themes are broad so if you are unsure contact the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for details. For more details about eligibility, see the guidance notes for the application type that is relevant to your project.If your project has already been supported with funds from another source (such as another public body), you may not be eligible for full MFF funding support.

Projects to be considered under the MFF scheme should not have a total project cost exceeding 2million based on relevant exchange rates.

Applicants cannot be awarded more than 1million, based on relevant exchange rates, in any calendar year during the scheme, including the accumulated values of multiple projects.

Proceed at your own Risk

You cannot start your project before you receive confirmation that we have received your application. You can start your project after you receive this confirmation, but this is at your own risk. If your application is not approved, any costs you pay will not be eligible to be claimed.

Certain applicants are not eligible to apply for funding under the MFF scheme.

  • Public applicants are not eligible for funding under MFF. This includes public organisations, businesses, charities or training or educational institutions.
  • If you have committed and been convicted of a serious infringement in the 12 months before you apply, you wont be eligible for MFF funds. A serious infringement of rules includes things like:
  • you dont hold a valid licence
  • you havent used compliant fishing gear
  • you have broken conservation rules
  • you have obstructed an inspection or observation

If you have committed and been convicted of fraud in the context of any fisheries funding schemes you will not be eligible for MFF funding support. Fraud includes things that have enabled you to wrongfully receive funds, examples of this are:

  • you have used or presented false, incorrect or incomplete statements or documents
  • you have not disclosed information where you are in breach of a specific obligation
  • you have used other fisheries funds for purposes other than those for which they were originally granted
  • you have misused the benefits of your project

If you have committed and been convicted of either fraud or a serious infringement please read the Guidance for the application of points system for serious infringements (MS Word Document, 210KB).

Expression of interest

You can complete an Expression of Interest Form (MS Word Document, 128KB) with help from the Expression of Interest Guidance (MS Word Document, 57.4KB) note and send it to the MMO if you want us to check if your initial project idea is feasible.

The MMO will then assess your project and tell you if you can apply and how you should do so. If the MMO invites you to complete a full application, this doesnt guarantee that youll get a grant.

You dont have to do this, if you prefer you can make a full application for funding without initial advice.

How to apply

You should apply online using the MFF E-System

The MFF e-system applicant user guide will assist you in your application.

The main focus of the MFF scheme in England will be projects which support the adaptation to the fisheries sectors to deliver economic growth. Examples of possible MFF projects which will be available for funding are:

  • new or innovative fishing gear onboard fishing vessels which helps to reduce unwanted catches
  • purchase of onshore refrigeration units in a port or harbor to assist improving catch quality or management of discards
  • installation of handrails and ladders to improve the safety of fishermen on board fishing vessels.
  • modernisation or development of aquaculture units
  • improved seafood processing in an existing facility

There are different types of application depending on the project you are applying for.

Each application type has different guidance notes associated with it. Make sure you read the relevant guidance notes carefully before you start your application. There is also a General Guidance (RTF, 1.66MB) for the scheme.

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