Businesses and marine organisations in Scotland’s coastal communities will benefit from £14 million in grants from the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24.
A total of 91 projects, with grants ranging from just under £1,000 up to £1.6 million, will support innovation and sustainable practices for the marine economy, including work to reduce carbon emissions.
- Modernising seafood processing facilities to reduce energy and increase efficiencies
- Harbour improvements, supported by community clean ups and marine litter prevention work, to aid decarbonisation
- New marine research to drive innovation using the latest available technology and data to protect wild salmon and manage non-native invasive species
Announcing the recipients of the fund, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, said, “The successful organisations and individuals are helping to drive innovation in the marine sector and support coastal communities and I am pleased to confirm such a wide variety of recipients.
“Now in its third year, Marine Fund Scotland has enabled a range of exciting and pioneering projects designed to support our marine ecosystem, improve economic prosperity and enhance social inclusion, all key pillars of our Blue Economy Vision.
“We are committed to maintaining the full allocation for Marine Fund Scotland but an independent Scotland, within the EU receiving pre-Brexit levels of funding, could much better support our seafood and marine industries. It is time that the UK Government provided the sector with their equitable – and rightful – share of funding so that projects like these can continue long into the future. We will continue to press them to do so.”
The funding includes various harbours from Wick to Eyemouth. Fraserburgh Harbour, home to the Moray East Offshore Windfarm Marine Base, received nearly £1.2 million for harbour wall improvements and a marine litter project.
Pamela Neri, Harbour Development Manager at Fraserburgh Harbour said, “We are grateful for the recent grant assistance from the Scottish Government’s Marine Fund Scotland which plays a significant role in our ongoing development.
“In light of the continual run of recent storms, the award allows us to undertake structural repairs to the Harbour’s breakwater. This protects our harbour from aggressive sea conditions, increases our resilience, and safeguards our operations to the benefit of our fishing industry, local community and harbourside businesses.
“The additional funding to enable the purchase of a trash skimmer has allowed us to tackle water pollution and reduce the Harbour’s impact on the environment.”
The 2023-24 Marine Fund Scotland delivers on the Scottish Government’s Blue Economy Vision which was published in 2022.
Marine Fund Scotland was established following the UK’s exit from the EU and replaces funding for the fishing and seafood sector previously available through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
Supported projects include:
- Seafood Scotland £1.6m to promote Scottish seafood in both domestic markets and internationally
- Vonin Scotland Ltd £955,000 to establish a net washing facility at Kyleakin, saving 300 nets a year from landfill/incineration
- Robert Gordon University £358,000 for an innovative project to create new field tests for shellfish