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pounds 17m to salvage fishing industry; EU BOOST AFTER STOCK CUTS.

Byline: STUART CAMERON

A pounds 17MILLION Euro grant to save Scotland's hard-pressed fishing industry was launched yesterday.

The first phase of the scheme, which is part of a wider European aid package for the Highlands and Islands, will be used to develop port facilities and improve the quality and value of fish landed in the region.

The scheme also includes aid for modernising fishing vessels, and for fish processing and marketing projects.

It was drawn up before crucial EU fishery talks took place in Brussels which led to a slashing of Scotland's fishing quotas.

Fisheries minister Rhona Brankin said: "I am under absolutely no illusions that this is a tough time for the industry in Scotland.

"These new grant schemes are no panacea.

"But they will provide some badly-needed financial assistance at this difficult time." She said extra assistance was being made available by the Scottish Executive to help pull in even more European funding.

The minister added: "Given the desperate state of some fish stocks and the tough decisions needed at the European fisheries council, it is vital for us to manage all resources sensibly.

"We must also ensure we get most value out of primary and processed products."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 22, 2000
Words:200
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