THE SCOTTISH Government has pledged over £1 million to make the fishing industry safer.
The money will be used in the aim of reducing the number of accidents and lives lost at sea.
Among the initiatives is improved health and safety training, funding for more personal locator beacons and also ‘smart trawl’ technology which reduces discards by allowing for more selective trawling.
The funding announcement comes shortly after a fatal accident inquiry into the death of a fisherman off Shetland in 2016.
The inquiry, held at Lerwick Sheriff Court, recommended that all fishermen should wear life jackets at all times while working on a deck of a vessel.
Speaking to the Scottish Fishing Federation in Edinburgh, fisheries secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland produces the best seafood found anywhere in the world, and many coastal communities depend on our fishing industry. But there have been too many accidents over the years, and too many lives lost at sea.
“I’m determined to do something about that. That is why I am particularly pleased to be able to announce further funding to improve safety, which will support costs in areas including training and personal locator beacons. This will be delivered through the Scottish Fishing Safety Group we established in May.
“The package will support further work to improve selectivity when catching certain species. It will also improve data on some important stocks – which is vital with the continued uncertainty around Brexit.”