He welcomed this week’s announcement of a £65 million infrastructure scheme will go towards modernising projects at UK ports, harbours, fish processing and aquaculture facilities.
And he was pleased to see investment of up to £10 million to encourage new entrants into the fishing industry, alongside training and upskilling current workers.
Mr Duguid said “levelling up” the local industry would be needed to take advantage of the quota uplift obtained as part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed last year with the EU.
After leaving the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), he said there had been uplifts in quota for UK vessels, with the value of UK-EU fishing opportunities for the UK in 2021 totalling approximately £333 million.
Mr Duguid added: “We have seen a range of benefits and improvements to the industry since we finally left the CFP a year ago.
“The TCA and the recent deals with Norway and the EU – as well as the establishment of a quota exchange mechanism – mean more lucrative catches going to Peterhead and Fraserburgh and around the North East.
“This latest tranche of UK Government funding will help provide updated and more efficient methods of working.
“More fish will need to be landed faster, processed and taken to market as quickly as possible.
“This is a massive boost for the local industry and firmly shows that the UK Government has our fishermen at the heart of its levelling up agenda.”
The two funding schemes are the second and third parts of the £100 million UK Seafood Fund designed to level up coastal communities across the UK.
It follows the earlier Science and Innovation pillar of funding, announced in September, which is investing in new technology to improve productivity and long-term sustainability.
A further £1 million will be dedicated to promoting UK seafood, further details of which will be set out in 2022.