Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme

Apply for support for projects that promote the sustainable growth of output, value and employment in the aquaculture sector.

Who’s eligible?

This Scheme is open to new or existing aquaculture enterprises.

What’s funded?

3 types of project are eligible for funding:

Project Type 1: Organic Aquaculture (Open)

These projects will support efforts to encourage conventional producers to move to organic production and participate in EU eco-management and audit schemes by providing assistance towards third party fees for organic certification and additional costs of participating in these schemes.

 Projects Type 2: Biotoxin Harvesting Suspension (Closed)

This Scheme may provide limited aid to producers affected by closures lasting more than 4 months, to assist those producers in recovery, thus preserving productive capacity and employment. Aid will be prioritised for operators affected by the longest suspensions and will be limited to a maximum total aid to all farmers of €500,000 per year. Subject to budget, BIM will administer the Scheme through targeted calls for applications in areas affected by closures lasting more than 4 months.

 Note: BIM will determine if a call for applications is to be initiated.

Projects Type 3: Capacity Building (Open)

Capacity building projects will support capital investment by aquaculture enterprises in the range of measures provided for in article 48 of the EMFF Regulation.These investments will enable enterprises to grow sustainable production, value and employment, will encourage the entry into the sector of new aquaculture enterprises and will support the evolution of SME enterprises through scaling-up. The Scheme will prioritise SME enterprises.

New entrants to the sector will be required to provide a business plan and, where the amount of investments is more than €50,000, a feasibility study including an environmental assessment of the operations. Support will be provided to new entrants only where it has been clearly demonstrated in an independent marketing report that good and sustainable market prospects exist for the new entrant’s product.

Amounts granted

Grant aid is available at the following rates:

Project Type 1: Organic Aquaculture

A maximum of €10,000 or 50% (30% for non-SMEs) of eligible expenditure, whichever is the lesser, per project per year.

Projects Type 2: Biotoxin Harvesting Suspension

A maximum of €100,000 or 50% (30% for non-SMEs) of eligible losses, whichever is the lesser, per beneficiary, subject to the maximum total aid to all farmers of €500,000 per year. Individual benefi ciaries will be limited to one aid payment over the period of the Programme.

Projects Type 3: Capacity Building

Category of Beneficiary Maximum Support Rate Maximum Support amount pa
New Aquaculture Farmers 50% €500,000
SME Aquaculture Enterprises 40% €500,000
Non-SME Aquaculture Enterprises 30% €500,000

How to apply

  1. Save the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme Application Form (pdf 744Kb) 
  2. Open the form on your computer and complete the form saving the changes
  3. The completed application form should be:

Aquaculture Project Section
BIM Aquaculture Development Division,
Crofton Road,
Dun Laoghaire,
Co. Dublin.

Or for Type 3 projects located in the Gaeltacht regions Údarás na Gaeltachta will prioritise applications for grant aid: 
Údarás na Gaeltachta, Na Forbacha, Co. na Gaillimhe. 
Tel. 091-503100  

How long does the process take?

Receipt of completed application will be acknowledged within two weeks.

General Criteria

  • Must hold an up to date aquaculture licence and a foreshore licence (as required) that are in compliance with the Habitats and Birds Directives and be fully compliant with the terms and conditions of those licences
  • Must be viable, and must provide audited accounts, management accounts, and /or such other information as may be required by the Board to confirm such viability
  • Any monies owing to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine or to either of the implementing agencies, must be paid in full before a grant can be paid
  • Applications must be submitted to an implementing agency and acknowledged by an implementing agency before any payments are made to suppliers
  • Must have all planning permissions and Bye-Law approvals relevant to the project
  • Must have a current tax clearance certificate
  • Must comply with conditions of the letter of offer
  • New Aquaculture Farmers must produce a business plan for the development of their aquaculture business and, where the amount of investments is more than €50 000, a feasibility study including an environmental assessment of the operations.

 For full details of grant criteria check your application form.

Key Dates

Organic Aquaculture - Open Call

Biotoxin Harvesting Suspension - Closed

Capacity Building - Open Call

Application Form

Contact Us

To learn more about this grant, contact:

Roisin Browne
Direct: +353 1 2144237
Email: browne@bim.ie

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