This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Over £1m for Scottish Fishing Industry
A package of Government and EC grants totalling £1.02 million for over 56 fisheries projects in Scotland was announced today by Scottish Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Minister, Lord Sewel.
The awards are expected to trigger associated investment of some £2.4 million and will create up to 20 new, full-time jobs in aquaculture. They will also help preserve around 500 jobs in both sectors.
Lord Sewel said:
"I am very pleased to be able to announce these awards which provide much needed support to these important sectors of the Scottish economy. Most of the aid is targeted at the projects in remote communities whose economies are heavily dependent on the fishing and aquaculture industries.
"Employment continues to be a vital consideration in such communities and was an important factor in assessing the large number of applications received. While each project is important in its own way, two merit special mention.
"The award of more than £250,000 to West Coast Aquaculture in Argyll will enable the company to begin commercial production of turbot on a year round basis, the first venture of its kind in the UK. Through its parent company, Aquascot, ready-made markets with a number of retail multiples are available. There is also exciting potential to develop export markets for this product, particularly in Europe. By the year 2000 the company intends to be producing around 450 tonnes of farmed turbot and in so doing will have created 11 new full-time jobs.
"Shetland Sea Trout Limited is another notable beneficiary. Grant of some £81,000 will enable the company to open up a second sea site and help it achieve full commercial capability. This company is the only aquaculture unit in the country hatching sea trout from the egg and growing them on to market size.
"These awards illustrate the Government's continuing determination to encourage and support the development of the Scottish fish farming industry which is based largely in remote areas of the Highlands and Islands where often there is little alternative employment.
"Whilst acknowledging and accepting the need to match resources to fish catching capacity, the dangerous nature of sea fishing is recognised by the awards to fishing vessels which are mainly for safety work projects."
1. Media wishing to obtain further details of the West Coast Aquaculture project can contact Mr Robert Murray, Financial Director of Aquascot on 01349 884481. A full list of the other successful projects can be obtained from Julie Grant on 0131 244 2701.
2. This is the first element of the sixth round of awards made in Scotland under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) which was introduced in 1994 and will run until the end of 1999. The schemes under FIFG are aimed at capital investments to improve structures for processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products; provide support facilities at fishing ports; improve fishing vessels; and to consolidate/expand the aquaculture industry and increase its competitiveness.
3. Only awards to vessels and aquaculture are included in this announcement. A further announcement covering awards to the other sectors will be made early in the New Year.
4. These schemes are highly competitive and oversubscribed and the success of worthy eligible projects cannot therefore be guaranteed. Funds have been allocated to benefit the optimum number of projects.