The Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today delivered a boost for innovation in the UK fishing and seafood industries with the opening of a new £10 million research and development fund.
The move paves the way for the potential use of artificial intelligence by fishermen and providing a potential double return on investment for the UK economy.
With the UK fishing industry contributing around £1.4 billion to our economy, employing over 24,000 people, there is huge opportunity for innovation to improve the technology available across the sector.
Unlike existing funding programmes, the Seafood Innovation Fund will focus on delivering longer-term, cutting-edge innovation.
UK businesses are already developing satellite technology and virtual watch rooms to track vessel movements, and integrating lighting into fishing nets to reduce unwanted catch and improve efficiency. But with the global fishing industry worth nearly £300 billion, this fund will encourage further technological development and unlock export opportunities around the world for UK technology pioneers.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
This government is investing record amounts in research and development, with this £10 million fund further driving UK innovation.
As the UK establishes itself as an independent coastal state, the Seafood Innovation Fund will bring together our world-leading fishing, seafood, and technology industries to deliver more sustainable and productive fisheries for the future.