Maritime and Fisheries Fund (NI) 2021-2022

The Maritime Fisheries Fund (NI) 2021-2022 (MFF(NI)) 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 Maritime and Fisheries Fund (NI) 2021/22

The Maritime and Fisheries Fund (NI) 2021/22 is open for applications from 7 October 2021. The closing date for applications is 11 February 2022.

Applicants that are successful are required to complete their projects and incur all spend by 31 March 2022.

Support is available for projects that deliver on sustainable economic growth in the sea fisheries and aquaculture sectors.  The purpose of the scheme is to continue to provide Northern Ireland with a financial support mechanism for the fisheries, inland waters, aquaculture and maritime sectors.

The following measures are 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

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 5 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 MFF E-system. Applications should be made and submitted through the MFF E-system using the link below.

Fisheries Grant Unit contacts details

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

Telephone:    028 4461 8093 or 028 4461 8094

Or alternatively, write to

Fisheries Grants Unit
First Floor
Rathkeltair House
Market Street
Downpatrick
Co. DOWN
BT30 6AJ

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.

MFF information about recipients

It is a requirement that information about each project which has been funded under the MFF is published; this is called the transparency initiative.

By accepting an offer of MFF 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 where the project is based 

About the MFF

The MFF is a funding programme which provides support for sustainable development of the fishing and aquaculture sectors and conservation of the marine environment up to 31 March 2022. The Programme is managed in Northern Ireland by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

MFF priorities

There are 5 Priorities in respect of the objectives for use of MFF(NI) 2021-2022 funding as follows:-  

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

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

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

Priority 4 - 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

Priority 5 - 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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