£3.5m boost for fishing
The latest round of grants under the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) will give support to 68 projects across the sea fisheries, aquaculture and fish processing sectors.
Successful applications range from vessel modernisation – such as upgraded equipment to support more sustainable fishing – through to new technology developments for the aquaculture and processors sectors, to improve efficiency and support business diversification.
Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead announced the new funding as he met with industry representatives at the Skippers Expo in Aberdeen today. Mr Lochhead said:
"The sea fishing and aquaculture industries – as well as the processing sector that supports them both – provide an important economic contribution to Scotland, particularly in our coastal communities. That’s why the assistance we have delivered through the fisheries support funds – more than £189 million since 2000 – is so important.
"This latest round of grants is expected to trigger capital investment of over £10 million, when the contribution made by businesses themselves is taken into account. Companies and individuals around the country are set to benefit, from fishing ports of the North East to the South West, from the Western Isles to the Northern Isles.
"What this emphasises is that the negotiations at the EU into the future successor to the EFF must ensure the budget is protected, a position not currently backed by UK Government – and that is a cause for concern.
"The diverse range of project being backed will help the fishing industry to grow, as well as protecting jobs. As the future of fisheries funding in the EU is being negotiated, we must ensure the Fund continues to deliver a maximum impact on Scottish sectors, while supporting greater environmental sustainability."
Successful projects in the current EFF funding round include:
- £71,050 assistance to Barra Atlantic, for the upgrading of processing, packing and cold storage equipment which will allow the company to break into new markets and create three full time and 2 part time posts
- £208,554 for Keltic Seafare in Dingwall towards construction of a new shellfish processing and storage building as well as an upgrade to existing production facilities, which will help the business expand in both the UK and overseas.
- £51,800 to Tarbert-registered Frigate Bird, to upgrade on board chilling and storage facilities that will enhance catch quality, reduce waste and improve return to the vessel.
- £59,446 to the family business Downies of Whitehills near Banff, towards the installation of a soup production line and factory upgrades, to allow the company to grow their business through the development of new fish products, marketed direct to consumers
- £132,515 for the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group, to redevelop and refit a former fish processing factory in Motherwell for use by Scottish mussel farm businesses as this fast-growing sector continues to expand.
- £5,286 to Torhouse Trout of Castle Douglas, to support the purchase of new fish cage nets that will help reduce the impact of predation and improve bio security
- £5,368 and £5,002 respectively for the MFV Courageous III and MFV Arcturus, both Peterhead, allowing the vessels to purchase new selective fishing gear to qualify for Conservation Credits.
European Fisheries Fund (EFF) grant recipients