The event was attended by George Eustice MP (the Marine and Fisheries Minister), Defra, representatives of the UK Devolved Administrations, representatives of the European Commission and key representatives of the fisheries and wider marine sector.
MMO Chairman Sir Bill Callaghan and Chief Executive John Tuckett told the delegates how the EMFF scheme had been developed based on feedback from industry, experience of operating the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and in partnership with delivery partners including Defra and the Devolved Administrations.
The Commission informed delegates that they were pleased with the development of the EMFF scheme in the UK. They also expressed the confidence they have in both the MMO and the Devolved Administrations ability to deliver the EMFF programme. This was supported by the MMOs experience in managing European funding schemes for the UK.
The Minister spoke about the importance of EMFF to the fisheries sector and the much needed help it would bring to support fishermen with legislative changes such as Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform.
An open discussion was then held between all attendees as to how industry, the MMO and the Devolved Administrations could continue to work together on the new scheme. Further enhancements to the EMFF and the funding opportunities that the new scheme presents to the UK were also discussed.
Marine and Fisheries Minister, George Eustice said:
“Today’s EMFF launch event has given me the chance to speak first hand with representatives of the fisheries, aquaculture, and processing sectors. I have heard just how important the 243 million euro fund will be to help them to adapt to the discard ban and create growth across the entire seafood sector.
“The fund can support fishermen and the wider seafood industry in every part of the UK and I would urge people to visit the MMO website to learn more about the scheme and the support available.”