Fishing fund gears up to help UK industry go green
The UK fishing industry is to benefit from an initial £2 million investment to trial new, greener engines and help create a safer, more sustainable fishing fleet as the latest round of the £100m UK Seafood Fund opens today (27 January 2022).
OIder vessel engines are some of the industry’s biggest polluters and, according to a report by MARFISH, over half of the boats across the UK fishing fleet are now more than 30 years old, meaning that the annual energy use of the fleet is equivalent to that of 110,000 homes.
From today, vessels in the small-scale coastal fleet can bid for up to £40,000 to trial hybrid and electric engines, and up to £20,000 to fund replacement petrol and diesel engines that are more environmentally friendly.
As well as supporting the fishing industry to deal with rising fuel costs, the trial aims to gather new data and evidence to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve efficiency and reliability, and help the fishing industry to reach net zero.
Seaside day boats in a harbour in Cornwall
Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said; "Our small-scale fishing fleet is vital for food security, the economy, and the livelihoods of coastal communities. This trial could help make vessels safer, more reliable, and more cost efficient as well as helping the fishing sector make the transition to net zero. I encourage all those eligible to apply so we can gather the data we need to move towards a greener fleet that will benefit the fishing industry and our environment."
Katy Ware, Director of UK Maritime Services said; "We fully support this scheme to trial new, greener engines in the fishing industry and will assist owners participating in the scheme to ensure that the engines are safely installed.
Everyone taking part will be making a significant contribution towards achieving net zero in the fishing industry."
This round will be administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), more details on how to apply can be found on gov.uk.
This latest round of applications to modernise and improve the small-scale fishing fleet is part of the £100m UK Seafood Fund, a landmark government investment supporting the long-term future and sustainability of the UK fishing and seafood industry.
Overall, at least £65 million in grant funding is available through the infrastructure scheme to fund projects that improve the UK seafood sector supply chain. This includes investment in fleet modernisation and improved capability at ports, harbours, processing and aquaculture facilities.
£20 million has already been awarded in Round 1 of the scheme for projects including the expansion of processing facilities for popular British fish like Scottish salmon and Cornish sardines, alongside money to bring an ageing dry dock back to life. In December last year, the Government confirmed a further £30 million will be made available for infrastructure projects as the latest round of funding opened for bidding.
There is also up to £10 million in funding available through the Skills and Training scheme, the second round of which will be open to applicants shortly. The scheme will fund training projects and facilities for workers in the seafood and aquaculture industry, and recreational angling sector.
Source: Press Release
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