Coastal communities urged to look at new European funding source

New funding available for fishing and aquaculture communities
New European funding available for fishing and aquaculture communities

MORAY COASTAL COMMUNITIES are set for a boost from a new round of funding from the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMMF).

Local action groups representing fishing communities in Scotland will receive a share of £6.5million from the EMMF – including a joint Highland/Moray allocation.

The funding was announced by Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead in his role as Fisheries Secretary.

In total, Scotland has been allocated £83million from the scheme which will run until 2020 – however, it has also been pointed out that the allocation represents just 2% of the total cash available from the fund, despite Scotland accounting for around 8% of the total fish caught in the European Union.

Now the programme has opened for community applications, with Mr Lochhead urging as many as possible from eligible groups, saying: “The fishing and aquaculture industries make a vital contribution, providing jobs and sustaining services in many coastal communities around Scotland.

“The EMFF provides funding to support fishermen, sustainable aquaculture, the processing sector and the communities that depend on them. We have already seen applications being made and I would encourage other eligible groups to think about whether they could benefit from this funding.

“For the first time in the UK I have approved an allocation for fisheries local actions groups which will benefit communities through funding job creation, diversification opportunities, opportunities for training and promotion of environmental measures.

“I am confident the local groups will make a real difference in the coastal communities they serve.”

Full information on measures that would qualify for support can be found on the Scottish Government website.