Scottish fishing and processing businesses are set to benefit from £6.9 million in funding as the sixth round of the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will award grants to 107 projects across Scotland. The funding includes around £182,587 for the purchase and installation of a new ice plant at Mallaig Harbour.
Around 83 individual vessels will receive funding to upgrade monitoring or catch storage systems, or towards new fishing gear while Seafood Scotland will be awarded £526,602 to help the sector break into new export markets.
‘From grants which are helping vessels upgrade their equipment, to funding for harbour improvements and better storage facilities, this £6.9 million investment is supporting the whole fisheries supply chain reach into new markets and improve the quality of their produce,’ said Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing.
‘The range of projects this investment is benefitting shows exactly how reliant our coastal communities are on this European funding stream. Where the UK Government has provided options, these are light on detail and full of potential pitfalls. They must quickly clarify these options and guarantee fishing communities will not lose out on the opportunities, which a clear funding decision offers them. Planning for the future must start now with the Scottish Government fully involved.’
The overall £6.9 million funding package is made up of £5.1 million from the EU and £1.8 million from the Scottish Government.
‘Securing EMFF funding is vitally important to showcase Scotland’s acclaimed seafood products and our ambitious exporters. This funding will enable Seafood Scotland to support our Scottish seafood companies from across the seafood supply chain,’ commented Seafood Scotland chief executive Patrick Hughes.
‘This EU funding and ultimately the support it provides can make a real difference to companies looking to make those all-important connections with global buyers.’
According to Robert Macmillan, chief executive at Mallaig Harbour Authority, without this funding the provision of the port’s new ice plant would not be likely.
‘The provision of ice is a key component to allow the Mallaig fleet to operate, by ensuring that the quality of catches are maintained. Assistance through the EMFF is crucial in supporting the costs for key harbour infrastructure and we are grateful for the £182,587 award. Without this funding, the provision of this key component in the supply chain would be in doubt.’