Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, today delivered a boost for the English fishing and seafood industry by opening applications for £15.4m from two UK fishing funds.
The £14.7m share of a £37.2m UK-wide fund announced last December, will encourage the take-up of innovation and technology, supporting jobs in coastal communities. In addition, £700,000 from a £2m UK-wide fund announced in the 2018 Budget is ring-fenced for fishing safety improvements on board English vessels and around ports and harbours.
English fishermen and those working in the seafood sector will today be able to apply for a share of the new Maritime Fisheries Fund (MFF), which is designed to ensure the fishing and seafood industry continues to thrive once the UK leaves the EU on 31st October.
The three-year fund builds on the government’s commitment to secure a fairer share of fishing opportunities for UK fishermen as it takes back control of fishing waters and establishes the UK as an independent coastal state.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, said: “We are taking back control of our waters and establishing the UK as an independent coastal state, with a fairer share of fishing opportunities for the whole of the UK fleet. We are committed to a thriving fishing and seafood industry, and this funding will support innovation, jobs, safety at sea and help establish new markets and opportunities as we leave the EU.”
Barrie Deas, Chief Executive, National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said: “I would encourage all fishermen to look closely at this new fund to see if it can help their businesses adjust to the new circumstances we will be operating under as the UK emerges as an independent coastal state.”