Support for Islands’ fishing industry

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Fishing vessels and processing businesses in the Western Isles have benefitted to the tune of more than £87,900 in grant aid it has been announced.

The sixth round of the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) awarded grants to 107 projects across Scotland, including seven awards to vessels and businesses based in the Western Isles.

In announcing the funding Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing, said: “From grants which are helping vessels upgrade their equipment, to funding for harbour improvements and better storage facilities, this £6.9 million investment is supporting the whole fisheries supply chain reach into new markets and improve the quality of their produce.

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

“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.”

Patrick Hughes chief executive Seafood Scotland said: “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.”