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Aquaculture Producers Urged To Apply For Funding

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ENGLAND, UK - Aquaculture producers in England are being urged to apply for support from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO), which administers the EFF scheme in England, has revealed that fewer than 15 organisations and individuals in the aquaculture sector have so far applied for the grants on offer, despite over 380 areas being authorised for fish farming in England.

Between 40 and 50 per cent funding is available towards developments in aquaculture through the EFF scheme, which is providing around £38 million between 2007 and 2013 to help the English fishing industry as a whole to adapt to changing needs.

The MMO attended the Shellfish Association of Great Britain’s annual conference on the 17th and 18th May to tell delegates about the funding available. To coincide with this new guidance has also been published on the MMO website which provides information on EFF grants for aquaculture and tips on how to make a successful application.

Catherine Murphy, Programme Manager for the EFF in England, said “fish processing companies have been making good use of the funding available, however by comparison there has been little take up from the aquaculture industry”.

“Aquaculture could play an important role in filling future shortfall in the supply of fisheries products and we’d encourage anyone who is developing business plans to get in touch with us first to see if EFF funding may be able to help”.

“It may sound obvious but people have to apply for the funding on offer, however we can help with this process. The most important thing is that they contact us before committing to anything as we can’t fund work which has already been carried out.”.

David Jarrad, Assistant Director of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain said, “we were pleased the European Fisheries Fund was represented at our conference, which gave aquaculture and shellfish producers the opportunity to learn more about the funding available”.

Funding may be available towards products for human consumption, or those produced as food for farmed species, particularly species which aren’t widely produced and those for which demand is currently exceeding supply. The grants may also support projects benefiting groups within the industry, such as towards creating producer organisations and improving management of fishing areas.

Rainbow trout and oysters are the species which have been most commonly funded through the EFF scheme so far and further examples of companies to have been awarded funding are included on the MMO website.