The new European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is now open for applications.

With a total UK pot of Euro 243m, the EMFF is a European funding scheme that will support fisheries, inland waters, aquaculture and maritime sectors.

There are 6 different grant areas with different eligibility requirements depending on type of applicant and what project you are applying for. In general, to qualify for EMFF funds your project needs to support the overall aims of the scheme –

  • Make the fisheries and aquaculture sectors more sustainable.
  • Conservation of the marine environment.
  • Support growth and jobs in coastal communities.

The 6 grant areas include the following –

  • Fishing vessel energy improvements.
  • Investments on board vessels.
  • Shore-based improvements.
  • Partnerships, information sharing, advisory services, job creation and training.
  • The marine environment and inland fishing.
  • Support for aquaculture, processing and marketing.

The EMFF scheme in England will open for applications in phases. The first phase is worth over Euro 33m and will consider the following types of project –

  • Assisting the fisheries sectors with the implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy including the Landing Obligation (the ‘discard ban’).
  • Improving health and safety on fishing vessels.
  • Improving the added value or quality of fish caught including use of unwanted catches.
  • Investments in fishing ports, landing sites, auction halls and shelters.
  • Processing of fishery and aquaculture products.
  • Investments in aquaculture.

The MMO will also be launching the process to select Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) under the EMFF scheme.

Details of eligible types of projects can be found on the link below. However, there are a number of specific areas that the EMFF scheme will not fund, including projects aimed at increasing vessel fishing capacity, increasing the ability of your vessel to find fish, increasing the capacity of fish holds, and building or importing fishing vessels. The MMO will be able to give guidance on the eligibility of your specific project.

There are specific rules on the type and size of organisation that is eligible to apply for support from the EMFF scheme. These could include individuals, limited companies, collectives, universities, and public-private partnerships. EMFF funding will be limited to micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and grant intervention rates and the maximum award levels will vary depending on type of applicant and type of project. For instance, awards could vary from £500 up to £300,000 for aquaculture, processing and marketing projects, or even up to £1.0m for shore-based improvement projects. Projects will be automatically ineligible if work has already started before acknowledgement and confirmation from the MMO.

Projects with a value of over £25,000 will require a business case and cash-flow forecast as part of the on-line application process, and those valued at over £100,000 will be reviewed by a selection panel meeting three times a year. The application process can start with the submission of an Expression of Interest, which will be assessed within 5 working days. The MMO will aim to process full applications within 40 working days, and applicants should note the strict procurement requirements in order to demonstrate best value for money. You will also have to demonstrate a ‘need’ for the EMFF support in order for your project to go ahead, as well as highlight the target outputs and benefits that will be achieved.

Further information can be obtained by contacting the MMO’s European Grants Team on 0208-0265539. Alternatively, visit the Marine Management Organisation pages of the website.

For information on how we can give your application the best chance of success, contact Bishop Fleming’s Director of Grant Services, Ewan McClymont on 03333-219000.


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