THE fishing industry is set to be boosted by a £24 million fund launched on this month to develop and trial new technology.

The money is the first investment from £100 million UK Seafood Fund.

It is hoped that the fund and increased access to research can improve the productivity and long-term sustainability of the industry. 

This may create more job opportunities and will be an opportunity to upskill the workforce and train new entrants.

The government say that the UK fleet has seen significant increases in quota fish stocks such as mackerel and herring.

Environment secretary, George Eustice, said: “Over the last nine months, we have taken some important steps in the right direction for our fishing industry.

“We’ve taken our independent seat at the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, we have agreed a quota exchange mechanism, and we have seen an uplift in quota for UK boats.

“Now, this major investment will benefit coastal communities up and down the UK.

"The first investment from our £100M Seafood Fund will boost science and innovation in the fishing industry and, coupled with our Fisheries Act, help us ensure that we have the most sustainable fleet in the world.”

£24 million will be into the science and innovation pillar of the UK Seafood Fund and will see the fishing and seafood industry work with scientists to research new types of more productive and sustainable fishing gear, gather data to more sustainably manage the UK’s fish stocks

It will also trial projects such as new biodegradable packaging for chilled fish and seafood to reduce single-use plastics.

Other pillars are the infrastructure pillar, to be launched in Autumn, and the skills and training pillar.

Dr Bryce Stewart, fisheries biologist and senior lecturer at the University of York, said: "I am particularly delighted to see the launch of this scheme for Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships.

"Our recent research shows that such collaborations are vital for increasing trust and developing more effective and efficient management measures.

"Ultimately this should lead to more productive fisheries and a healthier marine environment"


Secretary of state for Wales, Simon Hart, said: “The UK government is committed to supporting the fishing industry in Wales and the £100M Seafood Fund will help ensure it continues to have a sustainable future, contributing to jobs and prosperity in our coastal communities.”