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Funding for fishing communities

Published: 9 Dec 2015 00:01

Fisheries Secretary encourages applications for €107m scheme.

Rural coastal and fishing communities can apply for funding to support sustainable economic growth in the marine sector and mitigate the impact of the discard ban, Richard Lochhead said today.

The European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will also assist the further development of sustainable aquaculture, provide support to the onshore sector seafood and towards training and safety advice throughout the supply chains.

At present Scotland only gets 1.9 per cent of the total EMFF pot, even though we land 8 per cent of the EU catch, and it is it is therefore crucial that the benefits of this funding package is maximised to support Scotland's Fishers and local communities.

The programme will open to applications on Monday 18 January and will run until 2020.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Richard Lochhead said:

"Our fishing industry is a crucial part of many rural and coastal communities and I am encouraging them to apply for a share of €107 million funding to support fishermen, processors, fishing communities and aquaculture sector.

"This funding will also help the fleet adapt to the challenges of the discard ban, to manage our natural resources, conserve fish stocks, and play a meaningful role in improving global food security.

"The importance of the new EMFF package to Scotland is clear and with the introduction of the discard ban it is more important than ever that Scottish interests are represented fairly and we get the best deal possible for our fishermen."

Notes to editors

The EMFF is one of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) administered by the European Commission for the period 2014-2020. The overall objective of which is to promote "smart, sustainable and inclusive growth" as set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy with the approach described in the Partnership Agreement (PA). In the case of the EMFF, there is one agreed UK Operational Programme per Member State which sets out how the propose approach to address the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and the sustainable development of fisheries areas. Importantly the EMFF differs from the current EFF in that support can be provided to wider Marine Scotland activity such as compliance, science, storage aid, data collection and integrated maritime planning.

Support will be available through the EMFF programme in Scotland which delivers on sustainable economic growth in the sea fisheries and aquaculture sectors, and supports communities to deliver economic benefits during the transition phase of the Common Fisheries Policy reform programme. During the early round of the programme, in line with the Commission CFP reform timetable, particular focus will be given to investment which;

· Supports the delivery of the CFP reform priorities, particularly the landing obligation

Supports technical innovation, including improved selectivity

Supports the inshore sector.

· Supports sustainable aquaculture.

· Supports scientific knowledge, training, safety and advice.

· Delivers greater coherence and transparency in the supply chain.

· Creates or Improves the access to markets for Scottish seafood products.

· Delivers sustainable diversification or complementary activity.

Further guidance information on eligibility and applicant guidance can be found on the web site: www.gov.scot/EMFF