Fishing boost for Highlands

In the latest round of European Fisheries Fund (EFF) grants, four recipients in the Highlands have received £631,484 to support business improvements and growth.

The EFF grants provided in the Highlands include:

• £71,838 for the vessel MV Adventurer II of Lochinver, for the upgrade of a new propulsion system to enable greater engine efficiency and reduce emissions, as well as new ice machine drum to assist with fish storage.

• £55,798 for ‘Our Hazel’ of Ullapool, towards upgrading the decking, refrigeration system and engine modernisation, to help the vessel land a higher quality product while operating more efficiently.

• £158,995 to Summer Isles Foods Ltd, based in Alness, towards development of new production facilities at this business which produces a range of salmon smoked fish and marinated products, underpinning new expansion plans.

Announcing the funding from Brussels, as the decisive December Fisheries Council of Ministers meeting are underway, Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“The support that the EFF scheme gives to fishermen and our coastal communities is vital, underpinning economic development and helping to sustain the industry. All corners of Scotland have received support under this round, including 4 projects in the Highlands.

“We need the fishing industry to be innovative and efficient, underpinned by modern and sustainable fishing practices. And grants under the EFF are helping to ensure that continues to be the case.

“With crunch Fisheries Council talks now underway in Brussels, these EFF awards are a timely reminder that the control the EU has on Scottish fisheries – from grants provision to deciding the quota limits for the fleet – is crucial to the success and survival of our fishing industry.

“That’s why this week I will be fighting hard to get a fair deal for Scottish fishermen and stop some of the damaging and unnecessary cuts resulting from the legal straitjacket imposed by the EU’s Cod Recovery Plan. I am fully committed to ensuring our industry – and the fishing communities it supports – has the backing needed to secure a positive long-term future.”