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Scottish firms granted EU funding worth about GBP 1 million

by April 27, 2017 General

Patrick Hughes, Seafood Scotland director. (Photo: Seafood Scotland)

Scottish firms granted EU funding worth about GBP 1 million

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Friday, April 28, 2017, 00:30 (GMT + 9)

A group of Scottish seafood businesses have been granted nearly GBP 1 million European Union (EU) funding to help them showcase their produce at international trade shows.

The announcement of the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) grant to Seafood Scotland was made by Minister for UK Negotiations for Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell at the Seafood Expo Global (SEG)/Seafood Processing Global (SPG) event in Brussels.

“Raising the awareness and enhancing the global profile of the Scottish seafood industry will assist the sector as a whole, while helping individual businesses to expand into new markets and increase consumer awareness of their fine products,” pointed out Russell.

The minister also stressed that the fishing industry is a vital part of the rural economy, with the fishing fleet generating GBP 437 million last year and fish and seafood recording increased exports.

For his part, Patrick Hughes, head of Seafood Scotland, welcomed the EMFF award as a possibility to promote and assist business seeking to establish new global markets.

The cash is expected to support the industry body at seven international trade shows over the next year, in Brussels, Boston, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Cologne.

As representative of Scottish firms, North firm Wester Ross Salmon (WRS) was at the event with a small aquarium, showing the wrasse – species of cleaner fish – being used to keep farmed salmon clear of sea-lice.

“Thousands of trade buyers come to meet salmon farmers at the exhibition but very few have the opportunity to see a salmon farm in action in Scotland,” stated WRS managing director and Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation chairman Gilpin Bradley.

The director highlighted the successful introduction of wrasse as a very effective and environmentally friendly way to keep salmon free of lice which occur naturally in the water.

Referring to Scottish salmon, Minister Russell defined the species as key to their fishing success.

“We are the world’s third largest salmon producer, accounting for 94 per cent of the EU production. Each year we export around 172,000 tonnes globally – of which more than a third heads to the EU, illustrating the crucial importance to Scotland of the European marketplace,” he concluded.

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