A £2.5 million European funding boost to support sustainable growth and investment in Scottish aquaculture will be announced today by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing.
£1.7 million from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will go to the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre at Stirling University to promote environmental sustainability, and bring industry and research together to provide innovative solutions to sector challenges.
Loch Fyne Oysters Limited, Charron Ltd, Dawnfresh Seafoods Limited and Fassfern Mussels Limited will also benefit from the funding, which is part of the second round of the EMFF, supporting 56 projects in communities all across Scotland.
Mr Ewing is speaking at the Farmed Finfish Summit at Marine Harvest Ltd in Fort William today where he will demonstrate how essential support from the European Union is and again call on the UK Government to provide clarity around future funding.
He will also commit to form an Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group (ILG) to drive growth and improve partnership working between the industry and government.
Mr Ewing said:
“Aquaculture is one of our real economic success stories and the industry is on track to grow to a value of well over £2 billion annually to the Scottish economy by 2020, supporting 10,000 jobs. I am committed to supporting continued growth to 2020 and beyond as part of my wider priorities to build growth in the rural economy.
“This is a great example of how essential EU funding is, helping to encourage further innovation and supporting the sustainable growth of aquaculture, in turn benefiting rural communities which depend on this industry.
“In the absence of clarity from the UK Government on the longer-term impact of the EU referendum vote on EU funding, we will do all we can to champion our shared interests and provide reassurance to our aquaculture industry. We know aquaculture has a key role to play in our rural economy. It is a major Scottish exporter to the EU which is why we will continue to engage with the UK Treasury to get clarity on future funding and to secure Scotland’s place in the single market.”
Notes to editors
The Farmed Finfish Summit is one in a series of sectoral summits to discuss how the Scottish Government can help deliver further sustainable growth across in rural and island communities.