Fisheries Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is open for applications in Northern Ireland.
The programme will provide over £15million grant support to local fishing interests over the next five years and is designed to deliver benefits to fishermen, processing and aquaculture businesses, port authorities, producer organisations and wider fishing communities.
In announcing the opening, the Minister said: “I am pleased to announce the opening of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for applications with immediate effect. The measures now open focus on the catching, processing, aquaculture and ports sectors, with further elements, focussing on areas such as community-led local development, opening over the next few months.
“The funding will be invested in the local fishing and aquaculture industries with the aim of making a significant and positive impact in terms of sustainability, safety and the development of fishing related activities.
“My Department has recently staged a number of information events on the opportunities available under EMFF which were well attended by local stakeholders. I am encouraged by the level of interest and believe the fund will deliver real benefits to the local fishing sectors.”
More information is available at on the DAERA website at:
or by contacting the Marine and Fisheries Division of the Department.
Ritchie Welcomes EMFF Package For NI
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie (SDLP) has welcomed the launch of the Maritime Fisheries Fund in Northern Ireland today.
She said: “Nine months after the approval given by the European Commission in Brussels and after much deliberation and investigation in the Departments of Agriculture and Finance in Belfast which involved several months’ delay, the Maritime Fisheries Fund in Northern Ireland has now been finally launched and is open for applications.
“After such prolonged discussions this is a welcome development which I hope will bring benefit to the fishing communities and sectors – both on-shore and off-shore in the villages of Ardglass and Kilkeel in South Down.
“It is important that these communities will be able to avail of this funding opportunity to improve and develop infrastructure at the harbours in both ports which will contribute to the local economy; increase incomes, sustain existing jobs and generate new employment.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the fishing industry like other economic sectors faces challenges as a result of the EU referendum, it is important that the industry is able to avail of such resources to enable infrastructural and other improvements in Ardglass and Kilkeel ports.
“Working with other allied industries, Kilkeel fishing sector has a significant on-going project for the development and widening of the harbour which if eventually approved would allow larger boats to land their catch in that port.
“Ardglass could also develop interesting proposals which would build on the existing infrastructure. The development of both harbours would enable the fishing sector to make a major contribution to the local economy on the east coast of Ireland.”
“I look forward to such developments as they unfold and make that contribution to the wealth and enhanced job creation in the South Down fishing ports.”