Major round of funding for infrastructure projects and fisheries research

The second round of awards from the £100m UK Seafood Fund has seen a total of £45.6m awarded to a range of projects aimed at improving infrastructure and furthering fisheries research.

£40.1m is being awarded under the Infrastructure Scheme element of the fund to build capability across the supply chain, support coastal communities and contribute to net-zero targets, and £5.5m has been awarded to 12 new Fisheries Industry Science Partnership (FISP) research projects.

£16m was awarded last year in the first round of the Infrastructure Scheme, bringing the total to £56.1m awarded to 27 infrastructure projects to date.

Fishing News Awards Over 10m Fisherman of the Year Darren McClements’s vessel Golden Ray will be continuing FISP-funded selectivity trials with a new twin codend in the Nephrops fishery, working with fisheries consultant MarFishEco on a new round of sea trials that are expected to start in October.

Defra said: “These projects will strengthen the seafood supply chain, bring social and economic benefits, and reduce the seafood industry’s impact on the environment.”

In round 1 of the infrastructure scheme, £11.1m was awarded to four projects in England and £4.9m to two projects in Scotland – a total of £16m.

In round 2 of the scheme, £15m was awarded to eight projects in England, £18.7m to 10 projects in Scotland, £3.8m to two projects in Wales and £2.6m to a project in Northern Ireland – a total of £40.1m.

Over £74m in match-funding from alternative private or public contributions is supporting the infrastructure and FISP projects.

Funding is also available for the catching sector to replace or modernise their engines to reduce emissions, improve reliability and enable new technologies to be tested. The scope for the Fleet Modernisation Round is being extended to include all commercial vessels.

Infrastructure awards under round 2 include:

  • Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales, Portsmouth: £363,000 to regenerate Camber Dock fishmarket’s onshore facilities. The project will improve cold storage and freezer facilities, provide saltwater tanks for shellfish and build an ice plant
  • DR Collin & Son, Berwickshire: £650,800 to purchase processing equipment to improve yield and throughput of crab and shellfish at the factory
  • Fleetwood Fish Merchants’ Association: £2.8m to fit out and upgrade the current processing units
  • Langstone Harbour Board, Hampshire: £233,450 to upgrade the pontoon, a slipway trailer and telehandler to increase the quantity of catch landed
  • Lerwick Port Authority: £450,760 to reclaim land to build a new cold storage facility and create an area for storage and handling of refrigerated containers
  • Milford Haven Port Authority: £2.6m to deliver interlinked major regeneration works to Milford fish docks, including a new pontoon for 25 to 30 inshore vessels
  • Northbay Pelagic Ltd, Peterhead: £5m to increase processing capacity and cold storage
  • Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority: £2.6m to replace the existing boat cradle and winch at Portavogie. The new facility will be designed to accommodate both larger and smaller vessels
  • Shoreham Port: £1.2m to redevelop the inshore fishing marina to secure the viability of inshore fishing in the locality. The project will create 51 berths, increasing overall quay space by 170%.
  • Tarbert (Loch Fyne) Harbour Authority: £407,400 to streamline the fish quay. The project will include a winch and davit for loading and unloading vessels, a new ice machine and storage and maintenance facilities.

£5.5m for 12 FISP projects

A further £5.5m is being awardedaspartofthefourth and final round of the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme towards 12 new research projects that will support sustainable fisheries management.

SuccessfulFISPprojects include:

  • £800,000foraproject led by MarFishEco fisheries consultants to trial two Nephrops gear modifications to reduce fish bycatch and improve the efficiency and sustainability of the UK Nephrops fleet l £100,000 to a project led by University of Plymouth Enterprise to test the use, value and applicability of potting for shellfish using natural, plastic-free methods
  • £530,00toaconsortium led by the University of Plymouth to collect data on howfishusecoastaland estuarine habitats at their earliest juvenile stage
  • £800,000toHeriot-Watt University to develop modifications on a spring-toothed scallop dredge.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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