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An Argyll trout farm has been awarded more than £500,000 for a new vessel by the EU and Scottish Government.
Kames Fish Farming, based at Kilmelford, received a £530,879 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) grant towards costs of more than £1 million for a transport vessel.
Director Allan MacIsaac said the company had expanded its production of rainbow trout from 700t in 2016 to almost 2,000t this year. He added: ‘This growth comes from the new site at Loch Pooltiel on Skye and increasing production in Argyll.
‘As we continue to expand our production, we need to invest in equipment to ensure we are working efficiently. This marine transport project will allow Kames Fish Farming to make economic savings from the transport of personnel, feed and equipment to our sea sites in both Argyll and Skye.
‘This new 19-metre landing craft will reduce the number of trips we need to make to the sites, saving time and fuel. The vessel will be made in a UK shipyard and, when it is complete, we will be hiring staff to crew the boat. The EMFF grant is a great boost to our company as it will allow Kames to grow and meet the demand that is out there for high quality Scottish trout.’
The Scottish Government said the new vessel ‘will deliver supplies and increase efficiency through a reduced numbers of trips, environmental benefits through reduced fuel usage, and safer loading and unloading for crew. It will also help the company employ two additional staff’.
This year the EMFF is investing £6.9 million in 107 projects to help ‘fishing fleets land and sell their catch and support jobs in coastal communities’.
The funding includes around £182,587 for the purchase and installation of a new ice plant at Mallaig Harbour which will protect the quality of catches landed on the west coast.