Public funding boost for Scotland's fishing sector

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Public funding totalling £8m is to be used to boost Scotland's fishing sector.

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 £6m, while the Scottish government has committed £1.5m.

The rest of the funding is coming from other public sources.

A total of £1.8m will go to the Scottish Fishermen's Federation to pay for independent observers on boats following the introduction of the discard ban. The ban was brought in to stop fishermen throwing dead fish back into the sea if they had reached quota limits.

Other projects which will benefit from the funding include Box Pool Solutions in Aberdeen, which provides boxes for fishermen to sell their produce at markets, including Peterhead. It will receive nearly £1.2m for a new facility and equipment.

Mr Ewing said: "This £8m 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."

The funding allocation was announced as Mr Ewing met members of the Shetland Fishermen's Association in Lerwick, with projects in the islands receiving £1.6m of the cash.

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