MORE than 120 fishing industry projects across Scotland are to benefit from a £5.8million boost in the latest round of awards from the European Fisheries Fund.
• European Fisheries Fund includes grants for fishermen, processing firms and the aquaculture industry
• Richard Lochhead welcomed vital support from EFF scheme
The latest grants for fishermen, fish processing firms and the aquaculture industry are also expected to trigger capital investment by the recipients of some £15 million.
The awards include a £313,528 grant for Lossie Seafoods in Buckie, for streamlining of fish processing systems that will allow the business to operate more efficiency and increase productivity and £177,600 for C and A Thomason in Shetland to help with expansion work on their mussel farms.
Other awards include a £167,406 grant for the Lunar Freezing and Storage Company in Peterhead, towards a new refrigeration holding tanks, and £158,995 to Summer Isles Foods Ltd, an Alness-based company that produces a range of smoked fish and marinated seafood products, towards the development of new production facilities.
Announcing the funding in Brussels where he is attending the decisive December meeting of the European Fisheries Council, Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The support that the EFF scheme gives to fishermen and our coastal communities is vital, underpinning economic development and helping to sustain the industry. Under this funding round 121 projects from all corners of coastal Scotland have received £5.8 million, to support modernisation, expansion and boost productivity.
“We need the fishing industry to be innovative and efficient, underpinned by modern and sustainable fishing practices. And grants under the EFF are helping to ensure that continues to be the case.”
He added: “With the crunch Fisheries Council talks underway in Brussels, these EFF awards are a timely reminder that the control the EU has on Scottish fisheries – from grants provision to deciding the quota limits for the fleet – is crucial to the success and survival of our fishing industry.
“That’s why this week I will be fighting hard to get a fair deal for Scottish fishermen and stop some of the damaging and unnecessary cuts resulting from the legal straitjacket imposed by the EU’s Cod Recovery Plan. I am fully committed to ensuring our industry – and the fishing communities it supports – has the backing needed to secure a positive long-term future.”