fathom podcast scotland fishers

A new Fathom episode entitled ‘Funding the Ambitions of the Next Generation’ explores support for young fishers under the age of 40 in Scotland

The Fathom podcast, which keeps the UK fishing sector informed about all the latest industry-relevant news and developments, has released a new flash episode entitled ‘Funding the Ambitions of the Next Generation’ which focuses on a new grant support scheme in Scotland. Marine Fund Scotland will part-fund the purchase of an existing fishing vessel for fishers under the age of 40.

Fathom host Chris Ranford interviews Duncan MacInnes of the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association, who has spearheaded the drive for this new scheme in his area. MacInnes takes listeners back through the history of cooperation between the fishing industry and local authorities in the Outer Hebrides.

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“We have been running a scheme with the local authority and Royal Bank [of Scotland] gave a 50% loan on the boat and license. We’ve been very fortunate in having that scheme, and that’s been running for probably the last 20 years,” says Duncan in the interview. “This has been a huge opportunity with the grant element for buying a vessel.”

Duncan also mentions details of a community-owned quota scheme they initiated with their local authority, which further helps young fishermen overcome the barriers of moving on to larger boats. “The local authority bought some Nephrops (prawn) quota… and it became a community quota scheme that was ring-fenced within two Producers’ Organisations,” he says. “This meant that first-time buyers did not need to buy quota and could lease community quota.”

The Fathom Podcast is the first fishing-industry focused podcast in the UK, and is delivered by the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO), who have been actively championing youth careers in fishing since 2019 with the formation of their Youth Board. CFPO Youth Board member Joel Dunn gave his perspective on whether such a scheme could be emulated elsewhere in the UK, such as in Cornwall. “Young fishermen that are in the industry already, it’ll help them progress onto over-10 [vessels],” he says. “That makes way for the next generation to come through.”

Source: Press Release

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New Fathom Episode Explores Support for Young Fishers in Scotland

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