Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

Information about the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

Applies to England

Fisheries and Seafood Scheme Logo depicting scheme name and image of crab in blue lines

Important update: 10 June 2024

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS) has now closed for applications.

Since re-opening earlier this year, the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS) has once again proven popular with industry, generating a record-breaking number of applications in just three months. Given the number and value of applications we have received, the scheme is now closed to new applications.

Applications already submitted are currently being processed, and all applications acknowledged by MMO’s grants team will still be assessed. The team will also contact any recent applicants yet to receive an acknowledgement to advise of next steps.

Further information

  • Applications submitted on or after 12.00pm on 10 June 2024 will not be considered

  • All projects funded under FaSS, regardless of scale, must be completed by 31 March 2025.

  • Details of successful applications will be published in due course.

  • Read the full announcement on our news page.

  • You can contact the MMO grants team on 0208 026 5539 or email

About the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS), administered by MMO on behalf of Defra, delivers investments to safeguard the long-term sustainability, resilience and prosperity of the seafood sector across England.

Since opening in 2021, the scheme has been incredibly successful with £27 million invested in over 1,300 projects supporting England’s catching, aquaculture and processing sectors, as well as projects that are improving the marine environment. 

This is the final year of the scheme, and government financial guidelines dictate that all claims and payments must be made between April 2024 and 31 March 2025. Any expenditure beyond this date will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Aims of the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme provides financial assistance for projects that support the development of the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors, and for projects that enhance the marine environment. The scheme is available to applicants whose organisation and/or vessels are registered in England.

The scheme will provide funding for a range of projects that deliver the following high-level outcomes:

  • Creating a more sustainable and resilient sector
  • Boosting the demand for English seafood and accessing new markets
  • Improving participation through co-design and co-management
  • Achieving good environmental status through the conservation and restoration of the marine environment
  • Supporting net zero through reducing emissions within the industry

Who can apply for funding?

This is the final year of the scheme, and government financial guidelines dictate that all claims and payments must be made between April 2024 and 31 March 2025. Any expenditure beyond this date will not be eligible for reimbursement.

To be eligible for this scheme you must be one of the following:

  • An individual or business engaged within commercial or sea fishing, aquaculture or processing or an organisation or business engaged within recreational sea fishing;
  • A public body or local authority in a local community that has a focus on fishing, aquaculture or processing activities (including trust ports and local authority ports, and public bodies, using funds for environmental improvements or the management of fisheries);
  • A university or research institute;
  • A new entrant to the industry or unemployed individual that could benefit from knowledge or skills in fishing, aquaculture or processing activities.

You will be required to declare if you have received funding from other government financial support schemes and, if so, what for. This is to prevent any duplication of funding and to ensure rules around maximum thresholds of support are complied with.

If you are an applicant engaged in recreational sea fishing it is suggested that you contact our Grants Team before making your application so that we can best advise you on how to complete your application form.

If you are a business, you will need to declare which of the following categories you fall under (definitions can be found in the general guidance document)

  • Micro-entity
  • Small business
  • Medium-sized business
  • Larger enterprise.

You will be required to provide a level of match funding for your project. Please refer to guidance documents below to see the latest rates that apply.

Who cannot apply for funding?

You cannot apply for and receive funding if you:

  • Have been convicted of fraud under any other fisheries scheme;
  • Have been found to have committed a serious violation of conservation or management measures within the preceding 12 months
  • Are listed by the flag state, the subsidising party, the FAO or a relevant regional fisheries management organisation, or arrangement for IUU fishing in accordance with the rules and procedures of that state, party, organisation, or arrangement and in conformity with international law
  • Have been convicted of an offence that the MMO considers to be a ‘serious infringement ’ or fraud, in the 12 months prior to applying.

Please read the Guidance on Inadmissibility and fraud here.

What activities the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme can support

You must review the relevant guidance note for the project you are seeking funding for. These set out what you can and cannot apply for. The detailed guidance notes cover:

If we consider that you can afford your project without the scheme’s support, your project will not be approved.

As a minimum, all projects will be assessed for value for money, benefits to be delivered, affordability and deliverability.

It is your responsibility to ensure that:

  • Your project is technically viable and complies with all relevant health and safety legislation, other project specific safety requirements, and all other legal requirements;
  • Items purchased with scheme funding meets all necessary legal requirements. If items purchased subsequently becomes obsolete or illegal, then this is at your own risk. There can be no refunds or claims against the scheme;
  • All relevant legal requirements of the project are complied with.

What activities the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme can’t support

You cannot get funding for:

  • You cannot get funding for: Infrastructure (measure 28) has been removed from FaSS as support for infrastructure is provided through the UK Seafood Fund for the commercial catching sector to make port infrastructure improvements
  • Anything that negatively affects fish stocks that are in an overfished condition
  • Activities that would negatively affect or increase the exploitation of fish stocks
  • Operations that increase the fishing capacity of a fishing vessel, or for equipment that increases the ability of a fishing vessel to find fish, except where they meet legitimate public policy goals such as improved safety or sustainability
  • Fishing for fish stocks managed by a regional fisheries management organisation or arrangement to which the UK is not a member or cooperating non-member of the organisation or arrangement
  • Fishing or fishing-related activities conducted without the permission of the flag state where required and, if operating in another state’s waters, without permission of that state
  • Building, purchasing, importing or acquiring fishing vessels
  • The transfer of fishing vessels from England to other states, including through the creation of joint enterprises;
  • Increasing the capacity of fish holds
  • Carrying out exploratory fishing
  • Pulse trawling
  • The same type of equipment for the same vessel if you have already received support through the scheme
  • Transferring ownership of a business
  • Direct restocking, unless explicitly provided for as a conservation measure or in the case of experimental restocking and undertaken by a recognised scientific or conservation institution
  • Statutory or mandatory undertakings – items and services that are statutory or mandatory requirements of law and bylaws cannot be funded
  • Preventative or scheduled maintenance costs
  • Maintenance and mandatory costs for any vehicles
  • Purchasing or leasing of vehicles that are not used exclusively to provide a direct contribution to the project
  • Interest on a debt
  • The purchase of land or housing that’s worth more than 10% of your project’s total expenditure
  • Your business’s operating costs, unless MMO has told you otherwise in your offer letter
  • The re-payments of loans on any item(s) you have purchased
  • The costs of any item(s) bought with a loan until the loan is repaid (this does not include leased items if your offer letter allows funding for them)
  • Any costs that have been fully or partially funded through an alternative grant
  • Any costs that you could recover in part or in total by making a claim on an insurance policy or by seeking compensation or damages
  • The cost for any items purchased prior to receiving acknowledgement of receipt of your funding application by MMO.

Please contact the MMO if you are unsure of your projects eligibility for funding.

The application process

Expression of Interest (EOI)

You may wish to submit an ‘expression of interest’ form to see if a project is eligible before completing an application form or responding to a funding round. It is not essential but may help you understand whether your project is likely to fit the criteria for funding.

Please see our additional guidance for support on how to Lodge an Expression of Interest

FaSS Panels

Applications with a total project cost of £150,000, or more, must be considered by the FaSS panel, which is responsible for reviewing and recommending projects in line with the overall objectives of the scheme. The panel is expected to meet to consider applications in June 2024.

Making an application

All applicants applying to the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme must read the general guidance document as well as the project specific guidance before applying.

You can apply for funding online. You may need to complete more than one application if your project has different elements within it. You should read the associated guidance for each part of your application.

Please note IT improvements to the FaSS online application and claims system are ongoing.

You will need the following information to hand in order to complete the application:

  • The appropriate guide for completing your application form
  • Your business details such as your accounts, business registration number and VAT registration number.

If your application is successful, you will need to be able to pay for your entire project up front - you can then claim the costs back from MMO.

After you apply

We will contact you within five working days to confirm receipt of your application. After this you can begin work on the project, but this is entirely at your own risk. The items, suppliers and costs must be the same as in your application: any deviation will make the costs ineligible.

We will assess your application within eight weeks of its receipt and notify you if any further information is required. Once we have all the required information to allow us to make a decision, we will contact you to tell you if your application has been successful or not.

If approved, you must update us on the progress of your project when you make a claim for payment.

You can also find further details in the post-application guidance document.

All guidance notes are located in the main guidance page

Applying to FaSS

Applications are now closed.

If you have submitted an application prior to 10 June 2024 you can still access the Fisheries and Seafood Support E-system. to review your application or complete a task requested by MMO’s grants team.

Important Documents

SOP7 Payment Details Form

Expression of Interest Guidance

Expression of Interest Form

Successful Applicants

Details of the projects that have been awarded a FaSS funding can be found here:

Successful Applicants

More information

Grants team
Marine Management Organisation
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court Newcastle upon Tyne

Telephone: 0208 026 5539


Published 6 April 2021
Last updated 10 June 2024 + show all updates
  1. 10 June 2024 update

  2. May 24 update

  3. Update included to say that the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme has closed for applications.

  4. Addition of a link to new guidance for pollock fishers

  5. Update 23 February 2024

  6. Update 25-01-24

  7. Transparency initiative update

  8. Update 25/08

  9. Successful applicants update

  10. Updated to reflect revised guidance for 13 April 2022 Launch

  11. Health & Safety update

  12. Document updates

  13. Updated 11

  14. New file

  15. Additional guidance provided on 'Lodging an FaSS Expression of Interest'

  16. Page updated with SOP7 Payment Details Form

  17. General Document update

  18. First published.