More funding for fishing and aquaculture

A typical Blueshell mussel farming site.

MORE than ten fishing and aquaculture projects in Shetland have received funding totalling over £2.5 million from the latest round of the EU-led European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) payouts.

Brae based Blueshell Mussels has received over £2 million for specialist harvesting and seed deployment vessels and handling equipment.

Eastvoe Shellfish Ltd has been given just over £280,000 for expansion, while the Defiant fishing boat has received around £199,000 for a new propulsion/drive line system.

SSQC, meanwhile, has bagged £46,000 for aquaculture training and development, while the Avrella Fishing Company has secured a similar amount to improve accommodation.

Other local recipients of funding include the Brilliant LK1, Sadie Joan LK987, Tulloch Crab Fishing Co Ltd, Cornucopia LK372 and the Defiant LK371.

Fisheries secretary Fergus Ewing said a total of £6.9 million was being given to projects in Scotland, with £5.1 million coming from the EU and £1.8 million contributed by the Scottish Government.

“The range of projects this investment is benefitting shows exactly how reliant our coastal communities are on this European funding stream,” he said.

“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.”

Seafood Scotland chief executive Patrick Hughes added: “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.

“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.”