Up to £1 million has been made available for coastal communities across the UK to invest in new and improved infrastructure for recreational sea fishing.
From today (27 March), eligible applicants will be able to bid for between £10,000 and £100,000 for projects to upgrade recreational fishing facilities, reduce carbon emissions, support the protection and recovery of the marine environment, and provide training to help recreational sea fishermen operate in a more sustainable way.
Recreational sea fishing involves fishing for the purposes of pleasure, tourism or sport. With an estimated two million recreational sea anglers taking to the water every year, recreational sea fishing contributes over £800 million to the UK economy annually and boosts local economies through activities such as fishing tournaments, boat rental, bait and tackle supply, and local tourism.
Part of the £100 million UK Seafood Fund infrastructure scheme, this funding will ensure recreational fishing continues to prosper by backing projects which could enhance piers and harbours, create more accessible paths, floating walkways and pontoon dockings; and promote fishing tournaments.
Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said:
Recreational sea fishing is a small but mighty part of our fishing industry. It contributes to the economic growth of coastal communities and is a much-loved sport that can improve the health and well-being of those who take part.
This new round of funding will encourage the development and expansion of the sport in coastal areas, promote and support more sustainable fishing practices, and ultimately make recreational fishing bigger and better for anglers across the UK.
The £100 million UK Seafood Fund is supporting the long-term future and sustainability of the UK fishing and seafood industry by backing innovation, skills and job creation around our coastline.
Today’s funding is the latest funding from the UK infrastructure scheme and will be open until 19th June 2023. Applicants can apply here: Atamis Contracts Search (force.com).
It means at least £65 million in grant funding has now been made available through the scheme to improve infrastructure right across the seafood supply chain, including investment in fleet modernisation and the trialling of hybrid and electric engines; and improved capability at ports, harbours, processing and aquaculture facilities.
Successful bidders include Scottish company Denholm Seafoods who will install equipment to increase production of mackerel and herring, and Cornish based Falfish who will invest in new technology to grade, freeze and pack pelagic fish in support of building two purpose-built Sardine fishing vessels.
Nearly £20 million was awarded in the first round of the infrastructure scheme for projects including the expansion of processing facilities for popular British fish like Scottish salmon and Cornish sardines, with a further £30 million made available in round two. The small scale fishing fleet will also benefit from an initial £2 million investment to trial new, greener engines and help create a safer, more sustainable fishing fleet.
The second round of the UK Seafood Fund Skills and Training scheme is also currently open for applications, with up to £10 million available to fund training projects and facilities for workers in the seafood and aquaculture industry and recreational angling sector.