The government launched a support fund today, March 9th, for UK fishing and shellfish companies hit hard by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
It comes after Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, warned that “many fisheries are on the verge of collapse”.
Last week, Labor Pollard said in the House of Commons: “Fishing boats are tied up, fish exporters are tied up with bureaucracy.
“Angling has been promised an ocean of opportunity, but the reality is that many fisheries are on the verge of collapse. Much of the so-called extra fish may not even exist or be impossible to catch from British boats.
“The fishing industry feels betrayed. Isn’t it time now for the Foreign Minister to apologize to the fishing industry for the Brexit deal negotiated by his government? “
George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and MP for Camborne and Redruth in Cornwall, insisted that the deal had allowed Britain to “regain control of the regulations in our waters” and said that trade was back goes back to “approximately” 85% of normal volume “after a challenging start to the year.
However, today the government launched the Seafood Response Fund (SRF) to “assist UK fishery and mussel aquaculture companies affected by the decline and / or disruption in fish and shellfish export and domestic markets due to the coronavirus pandemic seafood exports earlier this year “.
“The SRF will contribute directly to the fixed operating costs of approximately 2500 eligible fishery and shellfish aquaculture companies,” the government said.
“It is managed by the Marine Management Organization (MMO) on behalf of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
“The payment under the SRF is calculated from the average fixed business cost for the size of the ship, as collected and published by the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) in their 2018 economic survey.
“Eligible fishing vessel owners will receive a one-time payment directly to their specified commercial bank accounts to cover fixed costs for the 3-month period from January to March 2021.
“Payment varies depending on the total length of the ship … up to a maximum of £ 10,000 per ship.”