European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF) 2014-20

What is EMFF?

The European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is the fund for the EU’s maritime and fisheries policies for 2014-20. It supports the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy and encourages the development of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy. Funding:

  • helps fishermen in the transition to a sustainable future
  • supports sustainable aquaculture
  • supports coastal communities
  • finances projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts

Shetland has received an allocation of £485,000 of EMFF funding to support Community-Led Local Development via the implementation of a Local Development Strategy. The budget must be allocated by 31 March 2019.

The Shetland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG)

The FLAG is a partnership of local fisheries, aquaculture and public sector representatives in Shetland. Its principal role is to deliver support to fishing communities in Shetland, in partnership with Marine Scotland, by implementing a local development strategy. Click here to see membership of the Shetland FLAG.

The FLAG will manage a funding budget for Shetland by assessing and recommending projects that best meet the needs of the Local Development Strategy. It will make project funding recommendations to Marine Scotland who will make the final decision on funding awards.

What can be funded?

Funding will be targeted at the priorities and actions of the Local Development Strategy for Shetland. The priorities are:

  • Add value, create jobs and promote innovation at all stages of the fisheries and aquaculture seafood supply chain.
  • Support diversification within the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
  • Support lifelong learning and job creation in fisheries areas.
  • Strengthening the role of fisheries communities in local development and the governance of local fisheries resources.

Example actions include:

  • Projects aimed at improving data collection at all levels of the supply chain.
  • Projects which lead to improvements in quality and traceability across the marine food sector.
  • Investigate, develop and access new, higher value markets for fisheries products.
  • Encourage research into new production methods, biological research and new technology.
  • Support projects and initiatives which will diversify the use of assets and infrastructure in fisheries areas.
  • Encourage projects which look to reskill local workers in response to changing sectoral and market needs.
  • Support projects which find avenues for the use of traditional skills and encourage development of skills which may be transferable.
  • Support projects which improve local marine resource management.

Funding is not available to support any increase in catching effort. Download information leaflet here.

Refer to the Shetland Local Development Strategy, page 36 onwards for Fisheries Local Development Strategy - available here.

What level of funding is available?

In general, up to 50% grant funding is available to single commercial businesses. The grant rate may be increased up to 100% if a project is of collective interest, has collective beneficiaries, or has innovative features.

If a project secures funding from another public source (eg Council, HIE, Lottery) then this would be taken into account within the total public intervention limits permitted within the EMFF Regulation.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to source and provide private match funding for their project if this is required as part of the application for EMFF funding.

Who Can Apply?

Those eligible to apply normally include: producer organisations, aquaculture/fisheries business or organisation, scientific organisation working in the maritime sectors, SMEs, voluntary/community group, and public-private partnerships.

How to apply?

As at January 2018, there is a small amount of budget available to support new proposals. If you are interested in applying for funding you are advised to discuss your potential project in the first instance.

It is a two-stage application process. The first stage is to complete an Expression of Interest form providing a summary of the project, outlining its fit with EMFF and the Local Development Strategy for Shetland, estimated costs and timescales, and level of grant sought.

A copy of the Expression of Interest form can be downloaded here. The closing date for Expressions of Interest to be considered at the next FLAG meeting in April is Thursday 29 March 2018.

Following assessment, if your project appears to fit the Local Development Strategy, the activities are compatible with EMFF funding, and the project is deliverable within current programme timescales, you will be invited to complete a full application form through Marine Scotland’s online e-system portal. The EMFF e-system is available here

A business case must also be submitted if the total project cost is greater than £25,000. Click here to access the business case template on Marine Scotland's website.

According to current Marine Scotland Guidance projects must be completed and fully claimed by 31 December 2020.

Further Information:

You should also refer to the General Guidance document on Marine Scotland's website here

If you are interested in applying for funding you are advised, in the first instance, to discuss your potential project. To discuss your project please contact:

Sally Spence
Economic Development
3 North Ness Business Park
Shetland ZE1 0LZ

Tel: 01595 744915