The grants, ranging from just over 1,000 to 27,000, will be supporting projects all over the globe, from Brazil to Sri Lanka and Australia. The activities supported include businesses attending seafood exhibitions in Tokyo and the Far East, the export of haddock to Canada and promotional material to promote Icelandic fish in fish and chip outlets.
Malcolm Large, Account Manager at Seafish said: Seafood is traded as a worldwide commodity as demonstrated by the fact that 80% of seafood consumed in UK is imported and 60% of UK catch is exported.
"Seafood is traded as a worldwide commodity as demonstrated by the fact that 80% of seafood consumed in UK is imported and 60% of UK catch is exported."
Malcolm Large, Account Manager at Seafish
The UK industry competes with international companies, many of which benefit from either direct or indirect support from their national and regional governments. This is where the Seafish fund can help.
The fund was significantly oversubscribed and the successful applicants met strict sustainability, efficiency and increased revenue criteria. The successful projects range from working with international suppliers to develop management regimes to ensure that imported seafood is responsibly sourced from sustainable stocks to the development of new export markets.
Regional seafood groups, national trade bodies, individual companies and consortia or loose cooperatives were eligible to bid for financial assistance from the fund. Individual companies were able to bid for a maximum of 3,000 per project, while the regional seafood groups and national trade bodies were eligible to bid for up to 30,000. In all cases the bidding company/organisation must provide match funding and a full project report.
Libby Woodhatch, Chief Executive of Seafood Scotland commented on their 27,000 award: We are delighted that Seafish have been able to part-fund the programme of export projects we will be jointly delivering with Scottish Development International (SDI) for the Scottish seafood sector. Given the current situation with rising fuel costs, it is imperative that we maximise our returns in the export markets that are so critical to a large percentage of the Scottish industry.
New England Seafoods have been awarded 3,000 to source frozen tuna to supplement their supply, and their Managing Director, Dan Aherne said: It is an expensive business to research and assess feasibility of new products and supply chains. It is pleasing that Seafish are recognizing this and awarding grants to areas which will in turn contribute positively to the suppliers, processors and retailers alike.