SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod has welcomed the announcement that a Scottish Creel Support Fund has been launched to help fishermen badly affected by the exceptional winter weather.
Many creel fishermen have experienced hard financial times recently due to a combination of the extreme weather which can lead to a loss of fishing gear and a reduction in catch. £400,000 has been made available by the Scottish Government which will contribute towards easing financial pressures faced by many in the industry.
The creel sector and the inshore fishing industry generally is very important to many of Scotland’s most fragile coastal communities in helping to sustain employment and maintaining and enhancing an important part of Scotland’s national heritage. Marine Scotland will be writing to all creel fishermen to alert them to this new fund.
Aileen commented: “The inshore fishing industry is very important to Scotland’s economy and the value of the catch in 2012 was £87 million. Static gear fishing is also important to Galloway, particularly in the west of the region, where the real value is often in the wider socio-economic benefits generated in communities around our coast.
“This section of the fishing industry is facing exceptionally tough times so I am delighted that the Scottish Government wants to support them and their communities as they seek to overcome these challenges.
“The closing date for applications to the Creel Support Fund is the 26th of March, so I would urge any fishermen who have suffered hardship as a result of the severe weather to get in touch with Marine Scotland to find out more as soon as they can.”