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100,000 Boost for ISA Hit Firms

SCOTLAND - The salmon farming industry in Shetland has been given a 100,000 boost to help companies affected by the recent outbreak of ISA (Infectious Salmon Anaemia) on farms west of Scalloway.

The Shetland Island Council approved the grant towards the isles’ ISA recovery scheme, which will trigger more than £1 million of Scottish and European funds.

In April the Scottish government made available £1 million of European Fisheries Fund monies to help salmon farming companies affected by the outbreak, and also approved £150,000 of their own funds.

According to a report in Shetland Marine News, at present, five sites in Shetland have been confirmed to carry the virus with a further 33 sites having movement and stocking restrictions because they are within the protection and surveillance zones.

The council’s development committee heard that the local scheme would make a “real and substantial difference to the viability” of the industry, Shetland Marine News said.

The proposal was moved by councillor Alastair Cooper and passed without discussion.

Speaking afterwards, the general manager of trades body Aquaculture Shetland, David Sandison, told Shetland Marine News the scheme would serve a common interest.

"I am very pleased with the outcome of the discussions in recent weeks, leading to the backing from Shetland Islands Council for a Shetland scheme to maximise the potential funds earmarked within the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), for supporting companies directly affected by the ISA control measures.

"It is hoped this will also enhance the level of Scottish government financial input to the scheme, over and above the existing EFF commitments.

"I will continue to work closely with the SIC and the companies concerned to ensure good common interest projects are presented for consideration within this scheme," he told the paper.

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