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12 March 2021

Stevenson Welcomes Funding for Ports and Harbours

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed funding from the Scottish Government for the fishing industry.

The move has been made to support up to 20 ports and harbours that have lost income from landing fees due to the disruption caused by Brexit.

They will receive share of a £1.8million fund including more than half a million pounds for repair works at Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Macduff.

The funding was announced by Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing ahead of the third meeting of the Scottish Seafood Exports Taskforce where he called on the UK Government to improve collaboration on border and customs process for the EU.

Limited, complex guidance and the requirement to use multiple systems for catch and export certification and customs controls is leading to a number of EU vessels choosing to land into other countries like Norway, Denmark and Ireland.

EU flagged vessels account for around 7% of all landings by value into Scottish ports in 2019 and were worth £35.5 million, however there is more of a reliance on them in smaller communities like Ullapool where around 13% of landings by value were estimated to be from EU vessels.

Funding has been allocated to Fraserburgh for numerous repairs, to Peterhead for various improvements ranging from collection and disposal of waste from fishing fleet to quay cleaning and to Macduff Aberdeenshire for additional improvements.
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“This is necessary investment to help mitigate against the very real impact of Brexit for the fishing communities across the north-east of Scotland.

“Many of which are losing key landing fees from vessels and as a result essential investment they need for business.

“I am grateful for the Scottish Government’s commitment to step in to help with this financial support.

“It is obvious there needs to be clearer guidance too for EU vessels and their agents so they can have confidence and continue to land in our ports and I support the Fisheries Secretary’s efforts to encourage this.”

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