£14m for Scottish aquaculture and fishing sectors

Vibrant Scottish seafood selection With copyspace for text

Businesses in the salmon, shellfish and seaweed aquaculture sectors – as well as the fishing industry – are among the recipients of a further £14m of financial support from Marine Fund Scotland in its 2023/24 funding round, announced today.

Marine Fund Scotland was set up by the Scottish Government following Brexit, to replace funding for the fishing and seafood sector previously available through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The latest round of grants includes nearly £1.6m for industry body Seafood Scotland, to promote Scottish seafood in both domestic markets and internationally.

It also features:

  • £955,000 for Vonin Scotland Ltd to establish a net washing facility at Kyleakin, saving 300 nets a year from landfill/incineration;
  • £358,000 for Robert Gordon University, for an innovative project to create new field tests for shellfish biotoxins;
  • £47,000 for salmon producer Mowi Scotland, as part of a £156,869 project to test a new system to repel phytoplankton and micro jellyfish;
  • £125, 500 for Eco Cascade, for the creation of extra processing streams for seaweed farmers; and
  • £112,500 for Salar Pursuits, for the trial of a bio-resource aquaculture system, aimed at optimising water conditions for trout and improve fish health and welfare.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, said: “The successful organisations and individuals are helping to drive innovation in the marine sector and support coastal communities and I am pleased to confirm such a wide variety of recipients.

“Now in its third year, Marine Fund Scotland has enabled a range of exciting and pioneering projects designed to support our marine ecosystem, improve economic prosperity and enhance social inclusion, all key pillars of our Blue Economy Vision.

“We are committed to maintaining the full allocation for Marine Fund Scotland but an independent Scotland, within the EU receiving pre-Brexit levels of funding, could much better support our seafood and marine industries. It is time that the UK Government provided the sector with their equitable – and rightful – share of funding so that projects like these can continue long into the future. We will continue to press them to do so.”

The UK government has its own scheme, the £100m UK Seafood Fund, which includes support for Scottish-based businesses.

The latest round of Marine Fund Scotland includes various harbours from Wick to Eyemouth. Fraserburgh Harbour, home to the Moray East Offshore Windfarm Marine Base, received nearly £1.2m for harbour wall improvements and a marine litter project.

Pamela Neri, Harbour Development Manager at Fraserburgh Harbour said: “We are grateful for the recent grant assistance from the Scottish Government’s Marine Fund Scotland which plays a significant role in our ongoing development.

“In light of the continual run of recent storms, the award allows us to undertake structural repairs to the Harbour’s breakwater. This protects our harbour from aggressive sea conditions, increases our resilience, and safeguards our operations to the benefit of our fishing industry, local community and harbourside businesses.

“The additional funding to enable the purchase of a trash skimmer has allowed us to tackle water pollution and reduce the Harbour’s impact on the environment.”

Fraserburgh Harbour

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