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Scottish Government announces £5 mil for seafood sector amid Covid-19 lockdown

Wednesday March 25th 2020 at 10:35 AM

The Scottish Government has announced a multi-million pound package to support the seafood sector as the coronavirus crisis continues to bite businesses. 

More than £5 mil will be offered to over 650 seafood fishing companies that have been hit bit the collapse in demand for delicacies such as langoustine, prawns and crab.

An initial payment of half of two months’ average earnings will be made to owners of all full time Scottish registered fishing vessels of 12 metres length and under.

The majority of boats that match the requirement are in the creel and dive sectors and operate in remote and island communities.

Holyrood has also pledged support for the onshore processing industry – which is one of the largest employers in Scotland’s coastal communities – and others in the shellfish growing sector.

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “The economic impact of COVID-19 is global, and is reaching into the heart of our fragile coastal communities.

“I have spent the last week listening to and liaising with our fishing industry, and there are many who have lost their livelihoods with little prospect of an early recovery. The need for action is immediate.

“We recognise that more needs to be done, particularly to try and create some alternative markets – at least in the short-term.

“I will be discussing with retailers how that might be achieved, and I would also encourage the public to play their part by buying Scottish seafood if they can.

“By working together we can all play a part in securing the immediate future of some of the key contributors to Scotland’s food and drink success.”

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