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EU Fund Supports Sustainable Scottish Fisheries

UK - A new European Fisheries Fund (EFF) will support investment in sustainable fisheries for the next six years in Scotland and is now open for business.

Under the programme, between now and 2013 fisheries business, including vessel owners, aquaculture business, port operators and processers in Scotland, will benefit from £43 million worth of investment of European funding.

According to the SNP, of the £43 million, £19 million has already been allocated for a 3 year plan to help the fishing industry adapt to an era of high fuel prices.

In addition Ministers last month pledged a further £9 million towards this industry wide initiative.

Together with additional support from Sea Fish this makes a total of £29 million of support available through the Fishing Industry Plan.

The Scottish Government has also published guidance on how to apply for EFF funding now that the programme is open to applications.

An information leaflet detailing application procedures will also be published alongside a rolling programme of regional information workshops.

Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

"Fishing is a key industry for Scotland supporting many coastal communities. Taken together, fisheries, fish farming and processing contribute well over £1 billion each year to the Scottish economy.

"While Scotland's fishermen, acquaculture sector and processers are at the forefront of sustainable fishing in the UK and across Europe, I believe this funding will help further enhace their world reputation.

"European Fisheries Fund investment will help modernise and secure the sustainability of the fishing industry. It will promote sustainable economic development in rural and coastal communities and improve the international competitiveness of the fishing industry.