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

You can apply for funding online using the Fisheries and Seafood Support E-system. 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.

This page provides an overview of the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS) and how to apply. For detailed information, including definitions, please read the general guidance document.

About the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme delivers investments to safeguard the long-term sustainability, resilience and prosperity of the seafood sector across England.

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

New areas of the scheme will be opened for applications for a defined period of time through funding rounds. The dates of these funding rounds will be announced in due course.

Who can apply for funding?

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 the MMO Grants Team before making your application so that we can best advise you on how to complete your application form whilst additional IT development takes place.

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 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; or
  • Have been convicted of an offence that the MMO considers to be a ‘serious infringement ’ or fraud, in the 12 months before 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:

  • 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 the 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 the MMO.

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

How to apply

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 using the Fisheries and Seafood Support E-system. 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.

SOP7 Payment Details Form

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

Expression of Interest Guidance

Expression of Interest Form

After you apply

We will contact you within 5 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 8 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 detail in the post-application guidance document.

All guidance notes are located in the main guidance page

More information

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

Telephone: 0208 026 5539


Published 6 April 2021
Last updated 13 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect revised guidance for 13 April 2022 Launch

  2. Health & Safety update

  3. Document updates

  4. Updated 11

  5. New file

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

  7. Page updated with SOP7 Payment Details Form

  8. General Document update

  9. First published.