• UK foreign aid has funded fish farming projects in Malawi, Bangladesh and Nepal
  • Aid money has also been directed to 'artisanal freshwater fish farming' in Liberia
  • It comes amid criticism of the Government's policy on fishing waters post-Brexit 

Foreign fishermen are being given millions in Government aid to help develop their businesses – just as ministers are accused of abandoning British firms, the Daily Mail can reveal.  Britain’s foreign aid department has funded huge fish farming and ‘aquaculture’ projects in countries all over the world including Malawi, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Nepal.

Money has gone towards the development of ‘artisanal freshwater fish farming’ in Liberia, and helping farmers in the Niger Delta develop their fish-smoking industry.  The huge spending comes as the Government stands accused of betraying British fishing firms by failing to take control of our waters post-Brexit.

Foreign fishermen are being given millions in Government aid to help develop their businesses ¿ just as ministers are accused of abandoning British firms (file photo)
It emerged last week that large foreign firms will keep their rights to fish in our coastal waters even after we leave the EU. And the Mail revealed that the Foreign Office had handed six fishing licences around South Georgia in the South Atlantic to foreign firms – rejecting all the British-based applicants.  The Government insists that fishing is a vital source of income for thousands of people in poorer countries. But the revelation that millions are being spent abroad is unlikely to go down well with UK-based fishermen who are struggling to make a living.

The Department for International Development said the UK had spent £14.3million on a ‘market development’ scheme in the Niger Delta to help the fish-smoking industry.  Some £870,000 has been given to the global charity WorldFish and other organisations to develop aquaculture in Bangladesh.

Britain¿s foreign aid department has funded huge fish farming and ¿aquaculture¿ projects in countries all over the world including Malawi, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Nepal (file photo)

Britain is helping 20 ‘tiger widows’ – women whose husbands were killed by tigers – receive training on agriculture, fisheries and livestock ‘in the context of climate-adaptive livelihoods’. Money has also been ploughed into Liberia to bring about ‘improved artisanal freshwater fish farming’.

In Nepal, Britain is funding fish farming to the tune of £264,000. Some 780 households will be taught about ‘fish farming and livestock management’.  An ‘integrated food income and nutrition’ scheme for the Binga district of Zimbabwe, costing £616,000, will help farmers who work with small livestock such as fish.

And £3,400 is even going towards a ‘fish appeal’ to search for the rare ‘Mangarahara cichlid’ in Madagascar.  Last night a Government spokesman said: ‘Fishing jobs are a vital source of income for some of the world’s poorest people – it is in all our interests that we provide the tools and the environment for people in developing countries to make a living, feed their families and stand on their own two feet.  ‘At the same time we recognise the importance of the UK’s historic fishing industry, which is why we are supporting our coastal communities to regenerate and grow.’