The latest round of awards from the first year of the Marine Fund Scotland (MFS) has provided fishing businesses and marine organisations in coastal communities with £7.4m in funding.

Overall, around £14m has been awarded to date in 2021/22 across a range of projects, including supporting young fishers to enter the industry, enhancing sustainable aquaculture, protecting the marine environment and supporting Scotland’s coastal communities with improved infrastructure and facilities.

In this latest round, vessel access at Macduff harbour slipway will be improved with an award of £102,000. The investment is part of wider improvements at Macduff, where a separate grant will fund the extension of the chill room facility.

Twenty-five young fishermen received funding towards the cost of buying a second-hand vessel, while a wide range of established boats received grants towards the purchase of safety equipment, upgrades to improve fuel efficiency, or gear adaptations to make fishing operations more sustainable or selective.

The North East Fishermen’s Training Association was awarded £14,700 to purchase safety training equipment including lifejackets and survival suits, as well IT equipment.

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “I am delighted for those organisations and individuals whose applications were successful in this and previous rounds.

“We are investing in Scotland’s seafood sectors, creating and maintaining jobs and livelihoods, while also helping to protect Scotland’s marine environment.

“Future Marine Fund Scotland awards will play a key role in supporting the sustainable development of our Blue Economy outlined in the vision document I launched last week.

“We will continue to use the limited funding we do have to deliver maximum effect through the Marine Fund Scotland, but will also continue to press the UK government to respect devolution of marine funding and recognise the size and importance of Scotland’s marine sectors.”

The full list of awards can be found here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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