The creel deal –

The creel deal Published:  05 June, 2014

CREEL fishermen from across Scotland have been awarded funding grants as part of a £400,000 support package.

The Scottish Creel Support Fund was launched in February by the Scottish Fisheries Secretary, Richard Lochhead.

The Scottish Government took this initiative in response to many creel fishermen experiencing hard financial times recently, due to a combination of the extreme weather which can lead to a loss of fishing gear and a reduction in catch.

Funding has been awarded to 141 vessels from across Scotland:

* North East – 24 awards receiving £48,000 * North West – 21 awards receiving £42,000 * South East – 19 awards receiving £38,000 * South West – 29 awards receiving £58,000 * Orkney & Shetland – 20 awards receiving £40,000 * Outer Hebrides – 28 awards receiving £56,000

A further £100,000 will go towards developing new and existing markets for Scottish creel-caught produce, in partnership with Seafood Scotland.

Mr Lochhead said: ‘These awards will provide valuable assistance to our creel fishermen, who have been facing exceptionally tough times.

‘This money can be used towards replacing gear that has been lost or damaged as a result of the poor weather conditions they have endured these past two winters.

‘In addition to this direct support, we will be funding a number of market development activities with Seafood Scotland.

‘They will be considering a range of measures to maximise the value of our world class, creel-caught shellfish product in key markets within the UK, Europe, and elsewhere.’

Duncan MacInnes of the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association said: ‘We welcome the support offered to the creel sector, with a fair geographical balanced distribution of funds throughout Scotland, to assist those that experienced exceptional circumstances and reduced profits in 2013.

‘Furthermore, funding to Seafood Scotland towards market development activities at a national and global level will assist the whole static gear sector at a time of low prices for lobster and some other shellfish species.’

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