asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications have been received by his Department for grant and loan for the building of new fishing vessels by owners who are resident in the Aberdeenshire, East constituency; and what decisions have been made with regard to these applications.
My Department is not directly involved in the consideration of applications for grant and loan for the building of new fishing vessels.Applications for grants under the Fishing Vessels (Acquisition and Improvement) (Grants) Scheme 1981 are made to the Sea Fish Industry Authority. In accordance with section 16 of the Fisheries Act 1981, the authority administers the scheme on behalf of the Fisheries Ministers. Loans for the construction of fishing vessels are made available by the authority in exercise of its powers under section 3 of the 1981 Act.Grants for the construction and improvement of fishing vessels are also available from the European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund—FEOGA. Applications to the EC Commission for such grants are routed through my Department, but the selection of projects for the award of grant is entirely a matter for the Commission. Under the 1981 interim scheme, the Commission is required to take decisions on the applications not later than 31 May 1982. Included in the applications presently under consideration are six projects relating to new vessels to be based at ports in the Aberdeenshire, East constituency in respect of which a total of £556,623 in aid is being sought.