Funding for fishing industry

Date : 22 January 2021

The government has announced £23m to support seafood exporters who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and the new arrangements for exporting following EU Exit.

To qualify for funding, the following rules will apply:

  • Businesses will need to provide evidence of genuine loss in exporting fish and shellfish to the EU
  • Only small and medium sized enterprises qualify
  • The maximum claim available to individual operators will be £100,000

More details will be available on eligibility criteria in the coming days.

Defra and HMRC will also provide targeted support to fisheries exporters including training and focused workshop sessions.

In recent weeks UK seafood businesses have reported delays in exporting to Europe following the start of the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement. Fishing industry associations have complained about the extra paperwork required which has made it more difficult to deliver products to Europe before the fish goes off.

Under the terms of the agreement:

  • The EU will continue to have access to UK fishing grounds and fish stocks
  • The quota allowed to the EU will be reduced gradually over 2021-26
  • By 2026, UK ships will catch two thirds of the fish taken from UK waters (versus half now)
  • After 2026, there will be annual negotiations on the Total Allowable Catch

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