SCOTLAND, UK - Scotland remains near the bottom of the EU allocation share of the vital European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) despite receiving a slight increase.
The fund, which is worth €5.7 billion across the EU, helps fishermen in the transition to sustainable fishing, supports the aquaculture and seafood processing sectors, helps to finance projects that create new jobs, and through all of this improves the resilience and quality of life of our fragile coastal communities.
Scotland’s share of this will be €110 million which is 1.9 per cent of EU allocation despite the Scottish fishing fleet catching eight per cent of the total EU landings. This is a slight increase from the previous funding programme when we received 1.4 per cent.
In terms of the UK fund Scottish vessels land 87 per cent of the total value of UK landings of key stocks and even with this new arrangement will only receive 46 per cent of fisheries funding.
Based on funding per tonne of fish landed - Scotland is now third lowest in Europe. This is contrast to the Republic of Ireland who have more than doubled their overall allocation (up from €72m to €148m) because they prioritised fisheries during their negotiations.
Speaking from Luxembourg where he is attending the EU Fisheries Council Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Although this deal represents an increase in funding and a better deal for Scotland than previous years – it still leaves Scotland with a very poor share of the overall European pot by any reasonable measure.
“In crucial EU negotiations a voiceless Scotland has once again been left behind. UK Ministers with different priorities have brought back a very poor allocation for the Scottish fishing industry. Every pound we miss out on is a pound less for supporting our fishermen, aquaculture industry, and processors.
“Whatever way you look at it, this is a double whammy for Scotland - we don't get our fair share of the UK pot and we have an appalling share of the EU pot.
“The Republic of Ireland have shown how a fishery nation can maximise the benefits of European programmes. Ireland land less of the EU catch than Scotland but receive around one third more funding.
“This highlights the benefits of independence where as a Member State in our own right we would be able to negotiate a much fairer share of European fisheries budgets to help our fishermen and the wider industry.”
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TheFishSite News Desk