eyemouth’s struggling fishing industry received a welcome helping hand from the European Fisheries Fund programme this week - part of a £4.6 million payout to 65 Scottish fishing industry projects.
Eyemouth Harbour Trust received £141,955 towards their £189,273 modernisation project providing additional storage and a specific are where fishing gear can be repaired and maintained. Safety and working conditions around the port will also be improved.
The harbour trust’s business manager, Christine Bell said: “We are delighted that Eyemouth’s bid has been successful and that we’ve been awarded this grant. The development will contribute to the more effective management of limited quayside space around the harbour as well as improve sustainability of Eyemouth as a fishing port.
“This development will provide a designated area for secure storage of fishing gear (nets, etc) as well as allow fishing crews to work in a safer area that is segregated from other harbour traffic and operations. Currently there is no designated area for storage and maintenance of fishing equipment and crews carry out maintenance on nets, etc at various areas around the quayside, and in areas frequently used by harbour traffic and members of the public.
“The provision of lighting in the area would also improve conditions to aid maintenance works as, during winter months, work is often carried out in poor lighting which can be hazardous.”
The local fleet will be able to store, more securely, equipment that has been removed from fishing vessels temporarily because of diversification, (from white-fish to prawns). It will also allow the port to be more competitive by providing additional facilities to fishing fleets, which might otherwise use other ports.
As well as the fishing sector, other local organisations such as the RNLI, boatbuilders (Coastal Marine), and seafood processors in the town will also benefit with safer access to previously problem areas.
The hope is that with more modern maintenance facilities in the port, non local vessels will be more likely to visit Eyemouth for repairs and maintenance, providing wider economical benefits locally. Likewise it would also encourage local boat owners to remain in the port to carry out repairs, which are otherwise travelling elsewhere to carry out repairs on vessels.