Up to 20 Scottish ports and harbours that have lost income from landing fees due to the disruption caused by Brexit will receive a share of a GB£1.8m fund.
The Scottish Government said the funding will provide necessary investment at ports and harbours for safety improvements and repair works. The support includes GB£180,000 to install shore power for the fishing fleet at Mallaig, GB£125,000 for resurfacing works and dredging at Eyemouth, GB£534,979 for repair work at Fraserburgh and GB£182,000 for new lighting and a fish landing crane at Lerwick Port. Essential works are expected to start immediately.
Fisheries Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said: “Ports and harbours are the lifeblood of many of our coastal communities up and down the country. As a result of the botched Brexit deal and through no fault of their own, many are losing key landing fees from vessels and need this essential investment.
“Previously we committed £1 million but I am pleased to be able to increase this to £1.8 million so we can provide even more funding to approximately 20 ports and harbours and support jobs and livelihoods in our coastal communities.”
Mr Ewing called on the “Scottish Seafood Exports Taskforce to provide urgent short term solutions and produce clear guidance so EU vessels and their agents can understand and have confidence in the requirements, and continue to land in our ports, which rely on them for employment and economic stability”.
He has also urged the UK Government to improve collaboration on border and customs process for the EU.
EU flagged vessels account for around 7% of all landings by value into Scottish ports in 2019 and were worth GB£35.5m, however there is more of a reliance on them in smaller communities like Ullapool where around 13% of landings by value were estimated to be from EU vessels.