Funding support for fishing and marine businesses

Fishermen are sceptical about the 'scientific basis' for the ban. no_a37fishingcash01

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Marine industries, which are worth approximately £350 million annually to the economy of Argyll and Bute, have been awarded funding to mitigate the impacts of Brexit and help the sector recover from effects of the Covid pandemic.

The Scotland-wide financial support of £800,000 was announced last week by rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon in a food and drink debate in the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Gougeon said: ‘Everyday people do extraordinary things to keep Scotland fed, particularly our fishers who put their lives at risk to ensure we all get to enjoy fresh seafood and fish. We are determined to support them to do so safely and sustainably.’

The cash is part of the £14 million Marine Fund Scotland and includes £357,466.98 for the independent fisheries science support scheme through which observers monitor catches and use the data to help with stock management.

Opening the debate ahead of Food and Drink Fortnight, Ms Gougeon said: ‘Our producers, farmers and fishermen showed tremendous spirit as they navigated the pandemic.

‘Daily, we hear of new and emerging challenges – shortages of HGV drivers, workers in processing and manufacturing, as well as associated skills shortages across the industry.’

Ms Gougeon added that the food and drink sector had been one of the industries most adversely affected by Brexit.

She said: ‘While remaining aligned to the principles of the EU, we will also have a support framework that delivers climate mitigation and adaptation, nature restoration and high quality food production.’