There were a number of very clear messages relating to funding. While there was strong support for the approach and priorities under the EMFF, EU Exit was also seen as a unique opportunity to develop a new funding system. There was agreement amongst many stakeholders that funding should come from a range of sources such as fishing levies, offshore windfarm licences, renewables seabed leases, or a revised landing taxation. There were also many stakeholders who suggested areas where there should be funding priorities (as at present), such as safety, training, infrastructure, research, data collection, science, innovation, marketing research, gear selectivity and new entrants. Other items that most stakeholders agree should be funded included industry leadership and a greater focus on coastal communities tied into the inshore sector. There were split views on whether loans or grants were the most suitable form of funding going forward.
The replacement for the EMFF remains dependent on the funding solutions and approaches taken by the UK Government as a whole. Our immediate focus is on securing a fair funding settlement to replace EMFF for Scotland, and for that funding to be fully devolved to Scotland to allow us to design an approach suited to Scotland's own circumstances and policy priorities.
Going forward, we will build on the suggestions received and consider how a new funding system would work for all of Scotland's fishing and seafood interests, along with wider marine priorities.