By Rory Murphy
Fishing crews will benefit from 100 new on-board defibrillators and a range of life-saving training opportunities.
The investment through Marine Fund Scotland (MFS), is aimed at improving safety and wellbeing in one of Scotland’s iconic industries, including £140,000 for industry body Seafish to deliver free safety training for fishing vessel crews. This will be match funded by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, to realise total funding of £280,000 through to March 2022.
In addition, the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA) will receive £80,000 through MFS to provide around 100 defibrillators to its members.
The awards, announced during Maritime Safety Week, are some of the first to be made through MFS, a one-year fund aimed at investing in marine industries, seafood sector and the marine environment.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon, pictured above, said: “This funding underlines our commitment to investing in the marine sectors and supporting local economies and coastal communities.
“This funding will help to deliver vital fishing safety training to our fishing fleet, while the provision of defibrillators will provide crucial assistance while at sea.
“In the case of sudden cardiac arrest, we know the sooner a defibrillator can be deployed the better the survival chances.
“These units are easy to use and the supplier will provide training courses and service the equipment.
“This funding supports the work of the Scottish Fishing Safety Group which aims to improve health, safety and wellbeing on vessels and reduce accidents across the whole industry.
“The initiative also ties in with our Future Fisheries Management Strategy which sets out our ambitions to promote fishing as an attractive and safe career of choice.”
Co-chair of the Scottish Fishing Safety Group (SFSG) Derek Cardno said: “I am delighted with the announcement of safety training funding today.
“Fishermen’s training is at the core of SFSG vision for fishing safety and securing this for Scottish fishermen will make a huge difference as we strive to see zero deaths in the Scottish fishing industry happen, annually.
The Group over the last 12 months have had lots of input into securing this funding for all fishermen in Scotland and we are thankful to the Scottish Government for their support.”