We may have little of our fleet left and with worse to come from the ongoing Common Fisheries Policy negotiations but in the latest round of European Fisheries Fund (EFF) grants, a few bawbees of consolation have been distributed to 8 recipients in Argyll and Bute, adding up to the munificent total of £326,453 to support ‘business improvements and growth’. Stable door. Bolted, Horse. Gone.
However for the record, the EFF grants provided to these Argyll and Bute projects include:
- £23,258 for the MV Destiny of Tarbert, towards insulation of the fish hold cooling system, improving onboard safety and fish quality, as well as work to rewire and raise the wheelhouse, improving visibility for the skipper/
- £15,051 for the MFV Gleaner of Campbeltown towards the purchase and installation of a new back-up generator and net retrieval system, which will improve crew safety.
- £32,340 awarded to the Association of Shellfish Growers – based in Achnacloich, Connel – to ensure wider representation for the shellfish sector, such as promotion at European industry forums, which in turn will help boost Scottish production
We can only assume that the other, unmentioned, five funded projects are even more modest.
Announcing the funding from Brussels, as the decisive December Fisheries Council of Ministers meeting are underway, Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead says:
‘The support that the EFF scheme gives to fishermen and our coastal communities is vital, underpinning economic development and helping to sustain the industry. All corners of Scotland have received support under this round, including 8 projects in Argyll and Bute.
‘We need the fishing industry to be innovative and efficient, underpinned by modern and sustainable fishing practices. And grants under the EFF are helping to ensure that continues to be the case.
‘With crunch Fisheries Council talks now underway in Brussels, these EFF awards are a timely reminder that the control the EU has on Scottish fisheries – from grants provision to deciding the quota limits for the fleet – is crucial to the success and survival of our fishing industry.
‘That’s why this week I will be fighting hard to get a fair deal for Scottish fishermen and stop some of the damaging and unnecessary cuts resulting from the legal straitjacket imposed by the EU’s Cod Recovery Plan. I am fully committed to ensuring our industry – and the fishing communities it supports – has the backing needed to secure a positive long-term future.”
Note: Full details of all European Fisheries Fund (EFF) grant recipients can be found here online.