£4.1 million investment to improve sustainability of seafood sector.
Fishing groups and individuals across Scotland will receive a share of £4.1 million funding to help boost the sector and make it more sustainable.
The funding, which is part of the second round of the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund, will assist 56 projects to deliver a range of projects which will contribute to the sustainable management of fisheries and marine ecosystems.
It shows clearly the benefit of continued EU membership for Scotland's fishing and coastal communities, with £3.07m of the funding coming from the EU and £1.03m from the Scottish Government.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing announced the funding on a visit to meet representatives from the Dunbar Fishermen's Association which will receive around £102,000 to develop a new coldstore. This investment will benefit all of Dunbar's fishermen and help to support its aims to take greater control of its markets and deliver a higher quality product.
Mr Ewing said:
"This £4.1 million investment will provide crucial support to businesses, allowing them to upgrade technology and buy new equipment to maintain and enhance the sustainability of the sector, protecting and creating jobs while also building growth in the rural and coastal economy.
"This is an example of why EU funding is essential as it will help the sea fisheries sector improve the quality of their products and help them develop more environmentally friendly methods.
"In the absence of clarity from the UK Government on the impact of the EU referendum vote on EU funding we will do all we can to champion our shared interests and provide reassurance to fishing communities. We know the fishing industry is a vibrant and vital part of our rural economy which is why we will continue to engage with the UK Treasury to get clarity on future funding."
John Fairgrieve from the Dunbar Fishermen's Association said:
"The award is excellent news for the fishermen of Dunbar and the wider community. The fishermen have worked relentlessly for past couple of years to make this project a reality.
"The project provides opportunities to improve the quality of our catch and look at wider opportunities to market that catch and it will hopefully lead to more jobs within our community."
A full list of projects to receive funding is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/grants-subsidies/awards/Initiatives/Seafisheries
During the visit Mr Ewing also provided the Dunbar Fishermen's Association with more information on the £1.4 million Scottish Government Connect Local programme, which will assist local producers by delivering tailored marketing and promotional support. http://www.sruc.ac.uk/info/120460/connect_local