Minister announces Fisheries Fund grant

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ECONOMY…
Scotland’s fisheries have received £10.9 million shared among 144 companies awarded grants under the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) potentially creating and safeguarding nearly 3,500 jobs.

Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“The European Fisheries Fund will help the industry invest in vital, new equipment, increase production, and bolster employment

“Hundreds of Scottish companies and initiatives have been supported by the Fund since its launch, and I am encouraged by the number and diversity of the applications for this round.

“Our fishing, processing and aquaculture sectors are worth more than #1 billion to Scotland’s economy and, in these difficult times, it is essential that we ensure they have a sustainable and profitable future.

“While the Scottish Government is delighted to assist companies with these grants, private investment is equally important. Scotland’s budget is being slashed by the UK Government, but I am confident that the enterprises and resourcefulness displayed by the industry is testament to a robust sector ready to stand firm.”

Beneficiaries include:

Hebridean mussels, Isle of Lewis – £183,985
– to support growth of current production from 650 tonnes per annum to its target of 1,500 tonnes per annum by 2014. It will allow the conversion of existing mussel sites to the more efficient New Zealand Cultivation Method, which increases efficiency and yields. The award will also support the purchase of a workboat and harvesting vessel which will be available to smaller producers in the Outer Hebrides, securing benefits to the wider industry and providing a platform for further growth.

MV Atlantic Challenge, Peterhead – £137,800
– to upgrade vessel’s main engine for improved fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact.

Dee Fish, Kirkcudbright – £339,200
– towards development of a new shellfish processing facility in Kirkcudbright. The company process a range of locally procured shellfish, including cockles, mussels, scallops, lobster and crabs primarily for export.

JMP Seafarms, Isle of Skye – £255,000
– development of a rainbow trout farm on the site of an existing unused salmon farming consent at Waternish. This development will create four full time and one part time position with an additional 18 seasonal staff.

Full list of EFF grants

Projects eligible for EFF grants include:

* The development and delivery of professional, safety and specialist skills training
* Improved management, sustainable exploitation of resources, improved hygiene standards and minimisation of environmental impacts
* Pilot projects in partnership with scientific or technical bodies
* Long term profitability in global and local markets to the benefit of producers and consumers
* Development of new markets and promotional campaigns including on quality, value enhancement and environmental credentials for fisheries and aquaculture products
* Campaigns to improve the image of fisheries and aquaculture products and image of the fisheries sector implementation of market surveys