Local queen scallop fishermen are invited to make grant applications to enable fisheries diversification, as part of the Isle of Man Government’s Future Fisheries vision of a sustainable, thriving and well-managed fishing industry providing high-quality seafood products.
Under the Isle of Man Government’s Agriculture and Fisheries Grant Scheme, funding is being made available during an eight-week application period, to support diversification into new species, gear types and training.
Grant applications made between 23 September and 18 November 2019 will be administered in line with the requirements of the Agriculture and Fisheries Grant Scheme 2016. The application period lies between the two main fishing seasons for queen scallop and king scallop.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture said:
‘Supporting the local fishing industry and, in particular improving the resilience of the Manx fishing fleet through diversification, is of great importance and helps to lead to a more sustainable future.
‘Local queen scallop fishermen, who wish to expand their business to fish new species, for example Dublin Bay prawns, squid or white fish, are encouraged to apply for grant funding through this scheme.’
All qualifying vessel owners, which are those licensed to fish locally for queen scallop, have been sent an application form. Support of up to 80% towards eligible costs will be available and applications for £1,000 or more will be accepted towards:
- New gear to support fishing for new species, such as nets, jiggers and creels
- Training in use of such fishing gear and methods
- Purchase of equipment to expand business opportunities, including into marine tourism
Dr David Beard, Chief Executive of the Manx Fish Producers Organisation, said:
‘The diversification grant scheme is very welcome. This will enable fishermen to purchase equipment for alternative fisheries which will hopefully provide an income when the main shellfish fisheries are not available.
‘It is anticipated that fishermen will consider diversifying into catching prawns, squid or white fish, therefore they are asked to draw up a fishing plan with the Manx Fish Producers Organisation, in order that sustainability of the fishing quota allocation can be maintained.
‘This is the first part of a wider diversification plan in partnership with Isle of Man Government, supplemented in the future by training courses and developments in relation to additional fish quota, to enable fishermen to target other commercial species in the Island’s territorial waters. The Manx Fish Producers Organisation encourages fishermen to apply.’
Applications will be accepted up until 5pm on Monday 18 November 2019.