Unequal EMFF funding for NE ports raised in Scottish Parliament

The SNP have been challenged over the unfair distribution of fisheries money to North East fishing ports.

Friday, 26th October 2018, 2:20 pm
Updated Friday, 26th October 2018, 2:23 pm
Peter Chapman asked Fergus Ewing,why so little of the fund was distributed to the first and third busiest fishing ports in Scotland.

It previously emerged the Scottish Government only sent 13.7% of European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) cash to Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen - despite the fact that more than half of all Scotland’s fish are landed there.

Holyrood questions by the Scottish Conservatives found 65% of applications for Shetland were granted, and 51% from Orkney were backed – compared to just 31.5% for the North East.

Region MSP Peter Chapman asked the SNP’s rural economy secretary, Fergus Ewing, why so little of that fund was distributed to the first and third busiest fishing ports in Scotland.

During general questions in Holyrood, Mr Chapman asked: “With this in mind can the Cabinet Secretary tell me why Aberdeenshire, the site of the biggest fishing port in Peterhead and third biggest port in Fraserburgh, had 100 of 146 applications for EMFF funding rejected and only received 13.7 % of the available EMFF funding?”

Mr Ewing did not give any reasons why so little money was sent to the North East ports.

He admitted that 56% of the weight and 46% of the value of all 2017 fish landed into Scotland was landed into the north east – covering the three port districts of Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen.

Mr Chapman said later: “Our ports have suffered a snub by the SNP who apparently can’t give a reason why they’ve spent so much more of this fund elsewhere.

“It is further evidence that Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t understand the needs of the North East, or how important the fishing industry is to our coastal communities.”