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Seafood sector support

Wed 3 Feb 21

A new £7.75 million funding package will offer support to fishermen, seafood businesses and ports and harbours threatened by the ongoing effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU Exit.

The package includes:

  • £6.45 million for the Seafood Producers Resilience Fund which will provide support to eligible shellfish catchers and producers, in addition to trout farmers who have faced issues exporting to the EU and have lost access to domestic food markets as a result of COVID-19.
  • £1 million to be made available to support the investment plans of ports and harbours faced with a loss of income through landing fees.
  • Up to £300,000 to assist the welfare and emergency support activities of the Fishermen’s Mission in recognition of the hardship facing people working in the sector at this time.

Full details of the Seafood Producers Resilience Fund will be available on the Marine Scotland section of the Scottish Government website from Friday 5 February.

Funding for new seafood experts to help businesses navigate paperwork was announced by the Rural Economy Secretary last week.

The Scottish Government’s Communities Recovery Fund for community groups, charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations impacted by COVID-19 and suffering from hardship closes to applications on Friday 12 February.

The UK Government announced a compensation scheme on Tuesday 19 January but has still to set out eligibility detail.

The Scottish seafood industry is highly reliant on exports, particularly to the EU. In 2019, seafood accounted for 57% of Scotland’s overall food exports and had a value of approximately £1.02 billion.

The EU is Scotland’s most significant overseas export market for seafood products, accounting for around three-quarters (76%) of Scottish seafood exports in 2019, and worth £777 million. Scotland is a net exporter of seafood to the EU, with a trade surplus of £615 million in 2019.

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