Fish & Fisheries News

Monday November 21, 2022

Supporting Fishers to Access Vital Grants

Fishers across the UK are eligible for a range of grants to support their businesses and the industry, however the application process is often complicated, particularly for a community that often has limited time, IT capacity and literary skills. The Fishing Animateurs, whom the Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust have supported and worked closely alongside since 2018, support fishers all over the UK to access government grant funding through three main themes of work: 

  • improving health and safety on board vessels, 
  • adding value to catch 
  • improving shoreside infrastructure  

In 2022 they also secured funding to help make people’s vessels more energy efficient. 

The Animateurs focus on supporting the under-10-metre fleet and those who lack the IT or literacy skills to apply for funds. 

6 Month Review:  

  • 62 applications 
  • 35 projects have secured 
  • £1.8m of funding 

Processing facilities 

5 funds have been secured for small processing businesses that demonstrate support for the small- scale fleet. 

Harbour Improvements 

Over £300,000of harbour infrastructure improvements that mainly aim to increase fishers’s health and safety. Projects include: installing safety ladders, safer-to-use winches and a quad bike to transport equipment safely around the harbour. 

Health and Safety 

Keeping fishers safe at sea is one of the core goals of the animateurs’ work. Health and safety work can vary from helping fishers to putting in safety bars, securing spare lifejackets for vessels, to improving a wheelhouse to keep fishers dry and warm at sea. 

Energy Improvements 

When fuel prices increased, the Animateurs saw a huge demand in grant support for more fuel-efficient propellers. Since April 2022, they have supported 6 fishers to access funding to improve energy efficiency. 

Adding Value to Catch 

The Animateurs have been supporting individual fishers, and fishing associations to add value to their catch from catching to selling. The ability to add value to catch leads to a more resilient and productive fleet without needing to increase fishing efforts. 

One project is led by a collective of fishers in the south-east, who are investing in shared ice facilities as well as a cold processing room. Once complete, this will open the option of direct selling for 12 fishers who have access to the facilities. 

Other projects include accessing funding for refrigerated vehicles, to enable fishers to reach markets further afield where prices may be higher. We have also supported many shell-fishers to access high-end shellfish holding systems to reduce mortality of their catch. 

Looking Forward 

Before April 2023, the Animateurs aim to have submitted over 120 applications to the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme, securing £2.5 million for the industry. 

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