|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Fisheries fund open for business
The new European Fisheries Fund (EFF) will support investment in sustainable fisheries for the next six years in Scotland and is now open for business.
Under the programme, between now and 2013 fisheries business, including vessel owners, aquaculture business, port operators and processers in Scotland will benefit from £43 million worth of investment of European funding.
Of the £43 million, £19 million has already been allocated for a 3 year plan to help the fishing industry adapt to an era of high fuel prices.
In addition Ministers last month pledged a further £9 million towards this industry wide initiative. Together with additional support from Sea Fish this makes a total of £29 million of support available through the Fishing Industry Plan.
The Scottish Government has also published guidance on how to apply for EFF funding now that the programme is open to applications.
An information leaflet detailing application procedures will also be published alongside a rolling programme of regional information workshops.
Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
"Fishing is a key industry for Scotland supporting many coastal communities. Taken together, fisheries, fish farming and processing contribute well over £1 billion each year to the Scottish economy.
"While Scotland's fishermen, acquaculture sector and processers are at the forefront of sustainable fishing in the UK and across Europe, I believe this funding will help further enhace their world reputation.
"European Fisheries Fund investment will help modernise and secure the sustainability of the fishing industry. It will promote sustainable economic development in rural and coastal communities and improve the international competitiveness of the fishing industry.
"Of course this is about so much more than fuel. We will work hard to demonstrate what else the funding will deliver for the fishing, aquaculture and processing industries and the coastal communities around Scotland which they support."
The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) is a new fund for EU fisheries grants operating until December 2013, replacing the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) programme. The EU and Scottish Government will use the EFF to provide co-funding for projects in partnership with the fisheries industry and communities that have an interest in fisheries
Businesses in the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors are eligible for support as are producer and industry bodies and fishing communities.
EFF grants will support similar investment to those made under FIFG including:
- Improvments to energy and operational efficiency
- Improvements to weighing and catchhandling equipment on vessels thus improving return and profitability of the vessel
- Development of existing and new aquaculture business supporting diversification and production improvements
- Improvements to harbour infrastructure securing safe and efficient bases of operation for the fleet
- Support pilot projects in developing sustainable fisheries and proving new technologies
- Support for markting and commercial strategies maximising Scottish fisheries value and reputation