The fishing industry in England have been provided with a £10m government bailout as the sector has collapsed in the UK and in Europe.
Over 1,000 fishing and aquaculture businesses are set to receive cash grants of up to £9m, and another £1m to help fishermen to sell their catch locally.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) further said the grants are to assist those with fixed business costs, for three months.
Owners of vessels under 24 metres with English fishing licences that recorded sales of at least £10,000 last year, will qualify.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said, “Fishing is at the heart of many of England’s coastal communities, providing local jobs as well as valued produce to their communities and through exports around the world.
“Given the loss of trade particularly to restaurants as a result of Covid-19, this support will help fishing businesses weather the current challenges they face, and facilitate new growth in retail markets through innovative local distribution.”
The National Federation of Fisherman’s Organisations (NFFO) chief executive, Barrie Deas “appreciated” the announcement.
Deas said in a statement, “We asked the government for specific support for fishing businesses, they have responded and we appreciate it.
“It is vital now that the promised £10m of assistance flows quickly to help fishing businesses survive and that the government continues to listen and support the industry beyond the immediate crisis.”
Defra said in a statement that the government are “exploring methods to reduce the regulatory burden on the fishing fleet.”
Adding, “These measures will be agreed jointly by the fisheries administrations and announced in due course.”