New support to finance the ambitions of young fishermen in the North East
New entrants to the fishing industry will be able to apply for funding for the purchase of a used fishing boat.
Support is provided through Marine Fund Scotland (MFS), young fishermen under 40 can apply for up to 75% of the purchase of an existing vessel with a registered length of up to 16 meters .
Funding of up to 50% for the cost of a vessel over 16 meters and up to 24 meters is also available.
The MFS replaces the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) after the UK leaves the EU.
The £ 14million one-year fund was launched at the end of April and aims to invest in Scottish marine and seafood industries.
Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: ‘While we have previously supported young people through the European Sea Fisheries Fund, Marine Fund Scotland is putting more emphasis on the arrival of new entering the industry and helping a shipowner.
“It is essential that we do what we can to remove the barriers that young people face in the fishing industry in order to build the resilience of the industry that supports jobs in some of our most rural communities.
“This is an important part of our future fisheries management strategy, which includes actions to promote fishing as an attractive and safe career of choice.”
The project was hosted by Duncan MacInnes of the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association.
He said: ‘We welcome this opportunity and vision shown by the Scottish Government in helping younger newcomers to become first-time vessel owners as highlighted in the Future Fisheries Management Strategy.
“This funding will create an environment that will modernize the fleet and create additional career capture and business development opportunities for young fishermen living in fragile coastal communities across Scotland, where alternative employment opportunities are limited.
“Providing funds to young shipowners is essential for the future survival of coastal communities which have suffered from depopulation in recent years.
Further information on eligibility for the Young Anglers Program can be found on page 10 of the Marine Fund Scotland General Guidelines on the Scottish Government website at https://www.gov.scot/publications/marine -and-fisheries-scotland-marine- fund-scotland-application-guidance-notes /