Poots launches £1.9million Fisheries Grants support scheme

Date published: 08 October 2021

Fisheries Minister Edwin Poots MLA has today launched a grants support scheme for local fishing businesses worth £1.9million.

Darren McClements, shows DAERA Minister Edwin Poots a fresh catch of prawns. Thanks to funding from the Department as part of a pilot scheme, Darren has purchased innovative on-board equipment for handling his catch on his boat named 'The Golden Ray'.

The Maritime and Fisheries Fund for Northern Ireland replaces the now fully-committed European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.  Financial support totalling £1.9million for fishing and aquaculture stakeholders is available up to 31 March 2022.  The new funding is designed to deliver benefits to fishermen, processing and aquaculture businesses, port authorities, inland fishers and stakeholders with environmental interests.

Announcing the opening of the Scheme during a visit to Portavogie harbour, Minister Poots said: “I am pleased to announce the opening of the £1.9m Maritime and Fisheries Fund (Northern Ireland) with immediate effect. As the funding has been provided by HM Treasury as a ‘one-year settlement’ only, I would encourage stakeholders to engage with my Department promptly in order that applications can be submitted as soon as possible as this funding must be utilised by 31 March 2022.

“During my visit to Portavogie harbour I have seen the benefits of such schemes to our local fishermen and businesses, such as investing in new machinery and infrastructure, which in turn enables them to continue to remain competitive within the industry during these challenging times.”

Speaking about the future of the local fishing industry, Minister Poots added: “My Department will be delivering this Scheme in tandem with the development of a five year strategy for future fisheries support from April 2022 onwards which will be reflective of the current focus on sustainability, green growth, blue economy, resilience and adapting to the post-Brexit landscape.”

The 2021/22 support is similar to the previous EMFF funding programme in terms of making applications and aims to support safer fishing initiatives, investments on board fishing vessels, innovative projects and processes, marketing initiatives and research; more selective fishing gear and practices, and ports infrastructure developments as well investment by fish processors and aquaculture operations.

Download further information on the Scheme and how to apply.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The £26m European Maritime and Fisheries Fund which covered the period 2016-2021 is now fully committed and no new applications can be accepted.
  2. DAERA has secured £3.1m to deliver the Maritime and Fisheries Fund (Northern Ireland) 2021/22. £1.9m of this sum is available to support applications for financial assistance from fishing and aquaculture stakeholders, with the balance being made available to meet data collection and fisheries management obligations. 
  3. As a “one-year settlement” by HM Treasury, the funding must be spent by 31 March 2022.
  4. Download more information on the DAERA website.
  5. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  6. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office.​
  7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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