FINANCIAL AID FOR SCOTS FISHERMEN – Fishupdate.com

FINANCIAL AID FOR SCOTS FISHERMEN Published:  06 November, 2008

Fishermen across Scotland are being urged to apply for financial aid to help pay for the maintenance of life saving equipment on board their vessels.

The Scottish government will provide £400,000 over the next 18 months, with payments to individual vessels of up to £250.

It follows recommendations from the fishing industry’s fuel task force, which agreed a three year action plan in August.

Speaking as fishermen were informed of the new funding, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: ‘It’s been a tough year for Scotland’s fishermen – record fuel prices hit them hard. While I’m glad prices have come down a little of late, I appreciate things are still difficult.

‘We’re making this extra help available to assist with the costs of annual maintenance of safety equipment as part of our three year action plan. We’ve also committed £300,000 to cover the costs of the next phase of warranties for vessel monitoring systems.

‘These two initiatives are part of the Government’s commitment to helping the fishing industry adapt successfully to an era of high and fluctuating fuel prices. We are backing up that programme of work with nearly £29 million over three years, which is made up of Scottish government and European funding and a contribution from Seafish.

‘In such a testing economic climate, we must do everything we can to help Scotland’s fishermen and take decisive action to benefit our hard-pressed rural businesses and communities.

‘We are determined to maximise jobs, invest in business and ensure our economy is well-positioned for recovery.’

James Brown, chairman of the industry fuel task force, said: ‘I welcome this initiative from the government. We’re working together with them to put our three year plan into action. This scheme is a small but important part of that work. We’re also working with the government on a range of actions to improve fuel efficiency and to maximise the value of Scotland’s excellent sea food.’

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