Guidance: Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

Marine Management Organisation

February 23
10:47 2024

Fisheries and Seafood Scheme Logo depicting scheme name and image of crab in blue lines

Important update 23 February 2024

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme is now open to deliver its final year of funding, providing valuable grants to match-fund projects over the next year.

Up to 6 million is available through this scheme to support projects in a variety of areas, including:

  • Health and safety
  • Processing and production
  • Partnerships
  • Research
  • Business diversification.

Applications can be submitted for smaller projects throughout the year, while projects valued at 150,000 or more will need to be submitted in the spring to be reviewed by a panel.

Applications can be submitted now and will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis until the budget is exhausted. All claims and payments must be made between April 2024 and 31 March 2025.

Port and harbour infrastructure projects should now apply to schemes under the nationalUK Seafood Fund.

Support and guidance

Full guidance is available below and our Grants Team is on hand to help guide you through the application process. They can offer advice on initial plans, or review expressions of interest before the submission of a full application. Contact us using the details below.

About the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS), administered by MMO on behalf of Defra, delivers investments to safeguard the long-term sustainability, resilience and prosperity of the seafood sector across England.

Since opening in 2021, the scheme has been incredibly successful with 27 million invested in over 1,300 projects supporting Englands catching, aquaculture and processing sectors, as well as projects that are improving the marine environment.

This is the final year of the scheme, and government financial guidelines dictate that all claims and payments must be made between April 2024 and 31 March 2025. Any expenditure beyond this date will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Aims of the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme provides financial assistance for projects that support the development of the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors, and for projects that enhance the marine environment. The scheme is available to applicants whose organisation and/or vessels are registered in England.

The scheme will provide funding for a range of projects that deliver the following high-level outcomes:

  • Creating a more sustainable and resilient sector
  • Boosting the demand for English seafood and accessing new markets
  • Improving participation through co-design and co-management
  • Achieving good environmental status through the conservation and restoration of the marine environment
  • Supporting net zero through reducing emissions within the industry

Who can apply for funding?

This is the final year of the scheme, and government financial guidelines dictate that all claims and payments must be made between April 2024 and 31 March 2025. Any expenditure beyond this date will not be eligible for reimbursement.

To be eligible for this scheme you must be one of the following:

  • An individual or business engaged within commercial or sea fishing, aquaculture or processing or an organisation or business engaged within recreational sea fishing;
  • A public body or local authority in a local community that has a focus on fishing, aquaculture or processing activities (including trust ports and local authority ports, and public bodies, using funds for environmental improvements or the management of fisheries);
  • A university or research institute;
  • A new entrant to the industry or unemployed individual that could benefit from knowledge or skills in fishing, aquaculture or processing activities.

You will be required to declare if you have received funding from other government financial support schemes and, if so, what for. This is to prevent any duplication of funding and to ensure rules around maximum thresholds of support are complied with.

If you are an applicant engaged in recreational sea fishing it is suggested that you contact our Grants Team before making your application so that we can best advise you on how to complete your application form.

If you are a business, you will need to declare which of the following categories you fall under (definitions can be found in the general guidance document)

  • Micro-entity
  • Small business
  • Medium-sized business
  • Larger enterprise.

You will be required to provide a level of match funding for your project. Please refer to guidance documents below to see the latest rates that apply.

Who cannot apply for funding?

You cannot apply for and receive funding if you:

  • Have been convicted of fraud under any other fisheries scheme;
  • Have been found to have committed a serious violation of conservation or management measures within the preceding 12 months
  • Are listed by the flag state, the subsidising party, the FAO or a relevant regional fisheries management organisation, or arrangement for IUU fishing in accordance with the rules and procedures of that state, party, organisation, or arrangement and in conformity with international law
  • Have been convicted of an offence that the MMO considers to be a serious infringement or fraud, in the 12 months prior to applying.

Please read the Guidance on Inadmissibility and fraud here.

What activities the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme can support

You must review the relevant guidance note for the project you are seeking funding for. These set out what you can and cannot apply for. The detailed guidance notes cover:

If we consider that you can afford your project without the schemes support, your project will not be approved.

As a minimum, all projects will be assessed for value for money, benefits to be delivered, affordability and deliverability.

It is your responsibility to ensure that:

  • Your project is technically viable and complies with all relevant health and safety legislation, other project specific safety requirements, and all other legal requirements;
  • Items purchased with scheme funding meets all necessary legal requirements. If items purchased subsequently becomes obsolete or illegal, then this is at your own risk. There can be no refunds or claims against the scheme;
  • All relevant legal requirements of the project are complied with.

What activities the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme cant support

You cannot get funding for:

  • You cannot get funding for: Infrastructure (measure 28) has been removed from FaSS as support for infrastructure is provided through the UK Seafood Fund for the commercial catching

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