What legislative powers are being used to deliver funding through the Marine Fund Scotland?
Marine Fund Scotland grant funding is being given in exercise of Scottish Ministers' statutory powers to give financial assistance under the Fisheries Act 2020 (the Fisheries Act). This financial assistance is given in accordance with the scheme (the Scheme) established by The Aquaculture and Fisheries etc. (Scheme for Financial Assistance) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (the 2022 Regulations). The Scheme which the 2022 Regulations establish provides the framework for the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23.
Scottish Ministers may award financial assistance through the Marine Fund Scotland in accordance with the Scheme, for a specific set of permitted purposes (the specific purposes). Only projects that deliver one or more of these specific purposes are eligible to apply to the Marine Fund Scotland.
The specific purposes for which Scottish Ministers may offer grant funding through the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 are:
a) the conservation, enhancement or restoration of the marine and aquatic environment; including the conservation, enhancement or restoration of the natural beauty or amenity of marine or coastal areas, or of inland waters or waterside areas;
b) the promotion or development of commercial fish or aquaculture activities;
c) the reorganisation of businesses involved in commercial fish or aquaculture activities;
d) contributing to the expenses of persons involved in commercial fish or aquaculture activities;
e) maintaining or improving the health and safety of individuals who are involved in commercial fish or aquaculture activities;
f) the training of individuals who are, were or intend to become involved in commercial fish or aquaculture activities, or are family members of such individuals;
g) the economic development or social improvement of areas in which commercial fish or aquaculture activities are carried out;
h) the promotion or development of recreational fishing.
Please note that whilst the Fisheries Act 2020 lists improving the arrangements for the use of catch quotas or effort quotas as one of the specific purposes for which Scottish Ministers can provide funding using their Fisheries Act powers, this activity is not eligible for funding under the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23.
Funding through the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 may only be given in relation to Scotland, the Scottish zone or Scottish fishing boats.
All references in these General Guidance notes (e.g. to assessment criteria, outcomes, types of projects that may apply, indicative projects, etc.) must be read and understood as those which fall within the scope of the specific purposes listed above.
This means that you should assume – even when the specific purposes are not repeated throughout this Guidance – that all references relate to these specific purposes only, and that projects that do not fall within these specific purposes are not eligible to apply to the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23. In particular, any reference to the economic development or social improvement of a community, area or areas must be read and understood as concerning an area or areas in which commercial fish or aquaculture activities are carried out or a community within such an area.
It is important to note that although projects may fall into one or more of the specific purposes listed above, this does not mean they are guaranteed an offer of funding through the Marine Fund Scotland. Whether or not an application for funding is successful depends on how well the project meets the outcomes that the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 aims to deliver. More on that is set out in the 'How will applications to the Marine Fund Scotland 2022-23 be assessed?' section of these General Guidance notes.
The Scottish Ministers set the criteria and outcomes for the Marine Fund Scotland. The assessment of applications against those criteria and outcomes, and the decision-making on whether to offer funding on the basis of the assessment, is done by officials from the Scottish Government's Marine Scotland Directorate. Any offer of grant funding from the Marine Fund Scotland is made by the Scottish Ministers through issuing a grant offer letter.
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