Aquaculture producers in Scotland, including shellfish growers and trout producers, will receive a share of £800,000 (€897,344/$972,976) of funding to help make improvements to their businesses and mitigate the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The grants from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to 11 aquaculture businesses include nearly £100,000 (€112,168/$121,622) for phase two of the expansion of Seaforth Mussels on the Isle of Harris and just over £200,000 (€224,336/$243,244) for new specialist trout harvesting equipment at Dawnfresh Seafoods in Lanark.

This investment for small aquaculture businesses is in addition to hardship payments of up to £27,000 (€30,285/$32,838), which were launched as a direct response to COVID-19 last month.

Of the £800,000 (€897,344/$972,976) awarded, £600,000 (€673,008/$729,732) comes from the EU and £200,000 (€224,336/$243,244) from the Scottish government.

The full list of recipients include:

  • Kames Fish Farming, which was given £370,000 (€415,022/$450,001) towards a feed barge
  • Invicta Trout
  • Orkney Oysters
  • Isle of Mull Oysters
  • Mackenzie Oysters
  • Seaforth Mussels
  • Sound of Luing Bivalve Seafarm
  • Cloan Hatcheries
  • Dawnfresh Seafoods
  • Eastvoe Shellfish
  • Tobermory oysters

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the seafood sector with the market for some products disappearing almost overnight, leaving many businesses at risk of financial ruin,” said Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary.

“This new funding is being awarded to businesses working in rural areas who have been hit the hardest by this pandemic, helping them to strengthen their business and recover from the loss of markets.”