European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2014 - 2020

The European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is designed to support maritime and fisheries activity and help deliver the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). It is also geared to encourage the development of Integrated Maritime Policy.

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, which replaces the European Fisheries Fund is now open for applications in Northern Ireland.  

Support is available for projects that deliver on sustainable economic growth in the sea fisheries and aquaculture sectors, and supports during the transition phase of the Common Fisheries Policy reform programme.

The following measures are currently open for applications

  • Investment on board Fishing Vessels
  • Fishing Vessel Energy Improvements and Re-engining
  • Aquaculture, Processing and Marketing
  • Investments to Shore Based Facilities
  • Partnership, Information Sharing, Advisory Services, Job Creation and Training
  • Marine Environment and inland fishing

Details of any measure not currently opened will be published on this website as appropriate.

Please click on the link below for more information

Information and guidance

Before applying for funding you must read the general guidance note and the specific guidance note relevant to the type of project you are seeking funding for. Currently there are 6 grant areas which you can apply for. Each grant area has specific guidance which explains the types of funding you can apply for, the types of projects that can be funded, how much money you can apply for and how to apply.

You can access the above guidance notes through the following links

How to apply for funding

Please note before you can apply for funding you must register on the EMFF E-system. Applications should be made and submitted through the EMFF E-system using the link below.

Guidance on how to use the EMFF E-system is available at the link below

If you have any difficulties please contact the DAERA Fisheries Grants Unit (see details below).

Community led local development (Fisheries Local Action Group)

DAERA is currently seeking  to appoint a Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) to prepare and deliver a Local Development Strategy to cover the period up to 2021. The closing date for applications is 4.00pm on Friday 8 September 2017. 

Late submissions will not be accepted. The Application form, guidance notes and general information are available at the link below.

Fisheries Local Action Group application form and guidance

Business case template

A business case must be completed for all projects over £25,000. A business case Template and supporting guidance is available at the link below.

EMFF transparency initiative

The European Commission requires that information about each project which has been funded under the EMFF is published; this is called the transparency initiative.

By accepting an offer of EMFF funds high level details of your project and the funds offered will be included on this list. Every six months, this website will be updated with a list of all projects which have been offered funding. The following information will be published about each project:

  • name of the recipient of the funds
  • community fleet register identification number (if the project is linked to a fishing vessel)
  • name of the project
  • brief summary describing the project
  • start and expected completion date for the project
  • total of eligible costs and how this is funded (for example from EMFF funds )
  • total size of the funds awarded and how the funding is made up
  • post code and country that the project is based in
  • union priority the project is related to

The  list of beneficiaries are available on the link below:

Fisheries Grant Unit contacts details

Email address:          EMFF.queries@daera-ni.gov.uk

Telephone:    028 9052 8093 

Or alternatively, write to

Fisheries Grants Unit
Ground Floor Block 1
Downshire Civic Centre
Downshire Estate
Ardglass Road
Downpatrick
Co. DOWN
BT30 6GQ

More useful links

About the EMFF

The EMFF is a European funding programme which provides support for sustainable development within the fishing and aquaculture sectors and conservation of the marine environment, alongside growth and jobs in fishing communities up to 2020. The Programme is managed in Northern Ireland by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). The scheme will help reach economic, environmental and social goals and will enable European Member States to:

  • help fishermen in the transition to sustainable fishing
  • support fishing communities in diversifying their economies
  • create new jobs and improve quality of life
  • assist applicants to access financing

EMFF funding available in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has been allocated 10% of the total UK EMFF total allocation which is consistent with the size of NI fishing fleet (landings and vessel numbers) and the number of processing plants, employment and ports when compared to the overall UK industry figures. It is also consistent with Northern Ireland spend (as a % of UK total) under the previous EFF Programme.

A summary of the total Northern Ireland allocation of core-funding available under EMFF is:-

  EMFF National Total
TOTAL NI Allocation €13.73m €4.58m €18.31m

EMFF Union priorities

EMFF is the Commission’s tool for supporting Member States to achieve the aims and objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The Commission has set 6 Union Priorities in respect of objectives for use of EMFF funding as follows:-  

Union Priority 1 - Promoting environmentally sustainable, resource-efficient, innovative, competitive and knowledge–based fisheries by pursuing the following specific objectives:-

  • the reduction of the impact of fisheries on the marine environment, including the avoidance and reduction, as far as possible, of unwanted catches
  • the protection and restoration of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems;
  • the ensuring of a balance between fishing capacity and available fishing opportunities
  • the enhancement of the competitiveness and viability of fisheries enterprises, including of small-scale coastal fleet, and the improvement of safety and working conditions
  • the provision of support to strengthen technological development and innovation, including increasing energy efficiency, and knowledge transfer
  • the development of professional training, new professional skills and lifelong learning

Union Priority 2 - Fostering environmentally sustainable, resource-efficient, innovative, and competitive and knowledge– based aquaculture by pursuing the following specific objectives:-

  • the provision of support to strengthen technological development, innovation, and knowledge transfer
  • the enhancement of the competitiveness and viability of aquaculture enterprises, including the improvement of safety and working conditions, in particular of SMEs
  • the protection and restoration of aquatic biodiversity and the enhancement of ecosystems related to aquaculture and the promotion of resource-efficient aquaculture
  • the promotion of aquaculture having a high level of environmental protection, and the promotion of animal health and welfare and of public health and safety
  • the development of professional training, new professional skills and lifelong learning
  • The protection and restoration of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems
  • The ensuring of a balance between fishing capacity and available fishing opportunities

Union Priority 3 - Fostering the implementation of the CFP by pursuing the following specific objectives:-

  • the improvement and supply of scientific knowledge as well as the improvement of the collection and management of data
  • the provision of support to monitoring, control and enforcement, thereby enhancing institutional capacity and the efficiency of public administration, without increasing the administrative burden

Union Priority 4 - Increasing employment and territorial cohesion by promoting economic growth, social inclusion and job creation and providing support to employability and labour mobility in coastal and inland communities which depend on fishing and aquaculture, including the diversification of activities within fisheries and into other sectors of maritime economy.

Union Priority 5 - Fostering marketing and processing by pursuing the following specific objectives:-

  • the improvement of market organisation for fishery and aquaculture products
  • the encouragement of investment in the processing and marketing sectors

Union Priority 6 - Fostering the implementation of the IMP through the achievement of specific objectives including:-

  • integrated maritime surveillance
  • the promotion of the protection of the marine environment, in particular its biodiversity and marine protected areas, such as Natura 2000 sites, and the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources
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