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16 September 2008

STEVENSON APPLAUDS START OF EUROPEAN FISHERIES FUND

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the opening of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) to applications from members of the Scottish fishing industry. The fund will support investment in sustainable fisheries for the next six years in Scotland through £43 million worth of investment of European funding between now and 2013 which will be open to fisheries business, including vessel owners, aquaculture business, port operators and processors in Scotland to allow them to invest in their businesses.

Guidance on how to apply to the new scheme has been published by the Scottish Government and is available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Fisheries/grants-subsidies .

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“The fishing industry is vital to the economic wellbeing of Banff & Buchan, and this new fund will help to keep the industry competitive amid rising operating costs and support the communities that rely on the fishing industry.

“The UK government has allowed to price of marine fuel to an almost unviable level in recent years and although this money is not only about helping to alleviate the cost of fuel, it will go a long way towards helping the fishing industry cope.

“£19 million of the fund has been allocated to helping Scotland’s fishing fleet to adapt to high fuel prices through greater modernisation and efficiency, and I hope that everyone in Banff & Buchan’s fishing industry who is eligible will apply for this funding”


Notes:

1. Link to three-year fuel plan:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Fisheries/fuel-plan

2. The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) is a new fund for EU fisheries grants operating until December 2013, replacing the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) programme. The EU and Scottish Government will use the EFF to provide co-funding for projects in partnership with the fisheries industry and communities that have an interest in fisheries.
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