Commercial fishing and fisheries – guidance

Apply for a European Fisheries Fund grant

How to apply for a grant and what type of projects are eligible under different parts of the scheme.

Apply for a European Fisheries grant

On 9 December 2015 it was announced that the UK Government and European Commission reached agreement on the Operational Programme which sets out the strategy for the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). This will allow the MMO to open the scheme for applications from 18 January 2016.

The scheme will open on a phased basis and initially, applications are welcome for funding relating to:

  • support for 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

In addition to the above, the MMO will be launching the process to select Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) under the EMFF scheme.

Details will follow on the opening of EMFF funding for other activities but from 18 January 2016 only applications relating to the above activities will be considered.

Full details of the EMFF scheme and the application process will be published here from 18 January 2016 in the meantime any queries should be addressed to info@marinemanagement.org.uk

European Fisheries Fund – Final claim deadline

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) want to advise all European Fisheries Fund (EFF) applicants that the scheme is closing at the end of December 2015 and therefore all projects MUST be completed by this date. If you have not already done so, you should submit a final claim as soon as possible.

Please also note that all expenditure must be paid to your approved suppliers by 31 December 2015. This means the money has to have left your bank account and been received by suppliers no later than 31 December 2015.

There will be no extensions to this timeframe as it is a regulatory requirement that projects are complete by the end of the year, so please make sure funds are spent and submit final claims by the end of December 2015.

If approved grant funding is not spent by 31 December 2015 you will be unable to claim the funds and any funding already paid may have to be returned.

Changes to support in European funding.

The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) has been closed for new applications since 30 November 2014.

Although applicants have been able to request changes to existing projects, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) are unable to support any further changes from the 11 September 2015.

In addition, as budgets have been exhausted, further funding cannot now be sought and applicants will therefore only be able to re-distribute those funds already secured within existing projects.

The EMFF scheme, is the successor to the European Fisheries Fund (EFF). It has a broader range of measures than previous schemes and has a greater focus than before on measures which can support the management and protection of the marine environment. In particular, support will focus on the implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy including the Landing Obligation (the “discard ban”). Funding will also be made available for aquaculture, fishing ports, fish processors, and fisheries local action groups (FLAGs).

Further details of the EMFF scheme will be published on the MMO website in the near future.

Top 10 tips for making a claim

1. You should make sure you sign and date your claim forms. They should not be signed by agents or anyone who has helped you fill out the form. If you don’t sign the form it will be returned and payments will be delayed.

2. You should make sure the items listed on the claim form match the items listed on the offer letter. If they do not then you must contact the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to discuss any changes.

3. You should make sure that any increases in costs being claimed or any other changes to your project have been approved by MMO in writing before you make your claim – this includes changes to suppliers. If the changes are not approved there is a risk that you will not receive your entire claim. Changes are things like additional unforeseen works, changes in costs due to increases in the cost of materials such as wood and steel.

4. You should make sure your supplier is registered. Contact MMO if you are unsure. You might need to get them to complete a Details of suppliers and creditors (PDF, 1.12MB, 5 pages) .

5. You should supply original invoices. These should be signed by the supplier or you should provide a suitable audit trail to show how the invoice was supplied.

6. You should make sure your bank statements are sent in showing the payments you made to the supplier before making your claim.

7. Your payment will be delayed if you don’t send in all of the necessary information MMO needs to process your claim.

8. You must tell MMO as soon as possible if you will miss your claim date – this is on your offer letter. If MMO will try and contact you if you go past your claim date but if MMO can’t get in touch with you, you could risk having your funding withdrawn.

9. You can make interim claims during the life of your project. When you have paid invoices and have proof of payment available you can make a claim from MMO. This will help your project’s cash flow and make your final claim more manageable. Contact MMO for advice on making interim claims.

10. If you have any queries about your claim contact MMO for advice.

Successful applicants

If you have been successful in your application for funding from the European Fisheries Fund you will receive an offer letter from us. This letter will explain what you have to do to accept the grant and claim your funding.

You are able to apply for EFF funding again and many people have done so. This must be for a new project.

Claiming your grant

Further information

MMO will consider smaller value (less than £100,000 total project costs) applications on an ongoing basis and judge whether the application meets the aims of the scheme. A decision on applications takes about 8 weeks.

Larger applications (over £100,000 total project cost) were considered by a panel – there are no further panels planned for this scheme.

Previous minutes and operational and strategic plans are available from The National Archives.

MMO must make public all beneficiaries of grant aid from EFF.

EFF Publicity

Article 31 (498/2007) of the EFF implementing regulation highlights the needs for at least one major information activity a year, and the UK Managing Authority are responsible for the production of a UK Publicity Brochure, which highlights the achievements of the UK within the EFF scheme.

Public consultation on funding

The European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG Mare) has launched a public consultation as part of the 2007-2013 European Social Fund (ESF) 2013 ex-post evaluation tο get feedback on the effectiveness and efficiency of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) Operational Programs and their impact.

The consultation will also look into the public opinion concerning the future of European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) after 2020. These results shall contribute to the impact assessment of the programing period after 2020.

All citizens and organizations are welcome to contribute to this consultation, especially the stakeholders who have been involved directly in EFF programs during the 2007-2013 period: Member states, managing authorities, implementing bodies at all levels, social and other partners represented in the monitoring committee, fishermen, producer organizations, NGOs, research institutes, public administrations etc.

Contributions are to be submitted by replying to the online questionnaire on the EU Survey website.

Contact information

European Grants Team

0191 376 2694 or 0191 376 2676

eff.projects@marinemanagement.org.uk