Seafood deal ‘will have tangible impact’ on firms
Seafood producers took their protest over Brexit border chaos to Whitehall
Further government support has been provided to the hard-pressed seafood industry.
A new £7.75 million funding package will offer support to fishermen, seafood businesses, ports and harbours, the Scottish Government has announced.
The package includes £6.45m for the Seafood Producers Resilience Fund to provide support to eligible shellfish catchers and producers.
A further £1m is available to support the investment plans of ports and harbours faced with a loss of income through landing fees. The Fishermen’s Mission receives £300,000 for the welfare and emergency support activities to help workers in hardship.
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “In the absence of any further clarity on resilience funding from the UK Government, we are stepping in to support the industry and coastal communities across Scotland and ensuring we meet the emergency needs of crews by providing welfare support through the Fishermen’s Mission.
“In addition to this funding, last week we also supported calls for a new dedicated task force, and announced funding for two new experts to help businesses navigate the new processes and requirements.”
The new support follows £10m put into the Seafood Business Resilience Fund last April.
According to the government, the Scottish seafood industry’s exports accounted for 57% of the country’s overall food exports in 2019, worth an estimated £1.02 billion.
Seafood Scotland chief executive Donna Fordyce said: “The Scottish Government has listened to industry pleas for support over the last four weeks and has really stepped up by offering such a comprehensive package.
“This will have a tangible impact on the livelihoods of some of the hardest hit in the sector and in some cases could save generations-old businesses from going under.
“With applications to the fund set to open as early as next week, we’re confident that businesses will start to see the support they need very soon.”