Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, is calling on the UK Government to give details of how it will protect funding for fish and seafood sectors post-Brexit. Otherwise, he warns, the country’s important food industry risks being undermined.
Scotland currently receives 46% of the UK’s share of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), with £81 million allocated from the EU to help Scottish businesses in fisheries and aquaculture expand and become more sustainable over the current 2014 – 2020 funding period. The Scottish Government provides a further £53 million to EMFF awarded projects.
“Over the last year we have seen record values of salmon exports and fish landings, and we want to do all we can to ensure this success story continues,” said Mr Ewing.
Despite having 9% of the sea fisheries landings in the EU, 13% of the aquaculture production, and the fourth largest sea area to manage, Scotland’s share of the EMFF represents less than 2% of the total EU funding available, given the UK Government’s decision to accept a disproportionately small share of the overall available funds.