New financial support will help fishing businesses export their products across the world, it has been announced.
According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the £23 million fund will help eligible businesses recover from Covid-19 and adapt to life after Brexit.
The scheme comes after the transition period came to an end on 31 December 2020, introducing “significant” new requirements for exporting, meaning fishing businesses must act quickly to avoid goods perishing.
At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has capsized the industry and now faces lower market prices and demand.
Aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the fund will target fishing businesses who can demonstrate a “genuine loss” in exporting fish and shellfish to the EU. Up to £100,000 per business is available, paid retrospectively to cover losses incurred since 01 January 2021.
Commenting on the initiative, Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “This £23 million scheme will provide crucial support for fishermen and seafood exporters, who have experienced delays and a lack of demand for fish from the restaurant industry in the UK and Europe.
“We are continuing to work closely with the fishing and aquaculture sectors to make sure that they are supported, and can continue to fish whilst contributing to the economies of our coastal communities.”
Fishing businesses can also find financial support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Bounce Back Loans (BBL) or the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), or grant funding of up to £25,000 through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
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