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Innovation Funding Available

UK - Under 10 metre sector fishermen are being encouraged to submit their applications soon if they want to be considered for the EFF Innovation Fund scheme.

People interested in applying should submit their applications in advance of the 31 March deadline if they want to be considered for the 90 percent rate of funding on offer.

The £1 million Innovation Fund was launched in November as part of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) to support projects in the under 10 metre fishing sector in England. It is providing up to 90 per cent funding towards ideas costing over £500 which aim to improve the way the sector operates.

Due to the high level of interest in the rate of funding available the scheme may close early if all of the money has been allocated. Projects which are unsuccessful under the Innovation Fund may instead be considered for funding through the wider EFF scheme.

Around £38 million has been made available through the EFF to help the fishing industry in England to adapt to changing needs.

Catherine Murphy, EFF programme manager for England said: “Applications are being considering by the judging panel in the order they are received. I’d encourage anyone who’s thinking of putting in an application not to wait until 31 March as they may miss out on the 90 per cent rate of funding.

“We are particularly looking for ideas that will help share experiences, improve safety, reduce the environmental impact of fishing including discards and increase catch quality and value.”

Launching the scheme fisheries minister Richard Benyon said: “The Government is committed to helping England’s small scale fishing fleet develop more sustainable ways of working in order to ensure their long-term future. Innovation will play a central part and I am delighted that we have been able to secure funding specifically to support this.

“We are challenging anyone with a vision for the future of the Under 10m fleet to bring us their ideas for projects of all sizes, from individuals to those involving the wider community.”

The Innovation Fund is open to applicants from England working in or directly with the under 10 metre sector. It is being judged by a panel including representatives from the fishing industry. More information is available from the Marine Management Organisation website at www.marinemanagement.org.uk/fisheries.

the Fish Site Editor

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