Public funding totalling £8 million is to be used to boost Scotland’s fishing sector, with work to help reduce problems linked to the discard ban to receive a share of the cash.
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing revealed 41 projects will benefit from the latest round of awards made by the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund.
The bulk of the cash is coming from the European Union, which is contributing £6 million, while the Scottish Government has committed £1.5 million, with the remaining £500,000 coming from other public sources.
A total of £1.8 million of the cash will go to the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation to pay for independent observers on boats following the introduction of the discard ban – which was brought in to stop fisherman throwing dead fish back into the sea if they had reached quota limits.
Mr Ewing said: “This £8 million investment will encourage growth and protect jobs in the sea fisheries and aquaculture industry by allowing businesses to upgrade technology and buy new equipment.
“This is just one example of why EU funding is so important as it is helping the sea fisheries sector improve the quality of its products and enabling them to develop more environmentally friendly methods.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to overcome the damage Brexit will cause to jobs, trade, education and to our public services. In everything we do, we will continue to champion our shared interests and provide reassurances to fishing communities.”
The funding allocation was announced as Mr Ewing met members of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association in Lerwick, with projects in the islands receiving £1.6 million of the cash.