In the latest round of European Fisheries Fund (EFF), 121 projects for fishermen, fish processor firms and the aquaculture industry have been supported.
The latest grants total £5.8 million and are expected to trigger capital investment by the recipients of some £15 million, underpinning employment and growth. Total funding awarded under the EFF programme since its launch has now reached £65 million.
A broad range of projects have received support, including:
£313,528 for Lossie Seafoods in Buckie, for streamlining of fish processing systems that will allow the business to operate more efficiency and increase productivity
£177,600 for C&A Thomason in Shetland, to help with sustainability and expansion work on their mussel farms, including new lines and mooring systems
£167,406 for the Lunar Freezing and Storage Company in Peterhead, towards a new refrigeration holding tanks, for storage of pelagic species such as mackerel
£158,995 to Summer Isles Foods Ltd, an Alness-based company that produces a range of smoked fish and marinated seafood products, towards development of new production facilities
£71,838 for the vessel MV Adventurer II of Lochinver, for the upgrade of a new propulsion system and installation of an ice machine drum
£67,600 for the Annan-based vessel Sea Lady,, towards building a stern shelter to improve crew safety and upgraded fish handling equipment that will reduce damage to the catch
Announcing the funding from Brussels as the decisive December Fisheries Council of Ministers meeting is underway, 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.
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.
Thats 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 EUs 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.
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