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UK Seafood Fund Unveils £2 Million Infrastructure Scheme for Fleet Modernisation

In an unprecedented bid to modernise the commercial fishing industry, the UK Seafood Fund's Infrastructure Scheme round 3 is now open for applications. As part of a £10 million grant funding effort dedicated to the catching sector, up to £2 million is on offer in this round for the replacement or modification of fishing vessel engines.

The initiative is a trial run designed to gather valuable evidence to shape future funding opportunities. To qualify for funding, participants must be willing to contribute to the evaluation process.

Deadlines and Criteria

The window for applications for round 3 is open until midday on 13 December 2024, or until all funds have been allocated, whichever occurs first. All projects approved for funding must be completed, and the funding claimed by 31 March 2025.


Eligibility for the funding extends to owners of commercial fishing vessels that meet certain criteria:

  • Registered in the UK under Part 2 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995;

  • Registered at a UK port;

  • Hold a valid commercial fishing licence;

  • Belong to a fleet segment in ‘balance,’ meaning they don't target at-risk stocks. This will be verified by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

Sustainable Engine Projects

Funding can be sought for the following types of projects:

  • Modification, replacement, and fitting costs of new electric and hybrid engines to replace any age of petrol and diesel engines;

  • Replacement of existing petrol and diesel engines manufactured before January 2016 with new petrol and diesel engines;

  • Modifications to a vessel necessary for the installation of a new engine;

  • Engine alterations to reduce fuel use or emissions, including the integration of hydrogen injection technology;

  • Engine modifications to facilitate the use of alternative, less emission-intensive fuels;

  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will allocate funds on a first-come, first-served basis to applicants meeting the criteria;

  • Match Funding Requirement.

Applicants must provide match funding for their project, with evidence of their ability to do so included in their application. The required amount depends on the engine being fitted or modified. For a diesel or petrol engine, applications can cover up to 50% of the costs, up to a maximum of £80,000.

This funding opportunity signifies a crucial step towards a more sustainable and efficient commercial fishing sector, balancing both the need for ecological preservation and economic prosperity in the UK. The UK Seafood Fund's commitment to the cause is apparent, and this move promises a cleaner, greener future for the UK's fishing fleets.


You can find out more on the Government website: t.ly/p58wh

Speak to Watermota’s expert team about their latest range of compliant engines.

+44(0) 1626 830910

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