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Extended seafood support ‘fails to cover’ key sectors, claim fishing businesses

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 17:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by The Grocer:

The government has announced an extension to its £23m support fund for seafood businesses affected by Brexit but the industry has once again criticised the package for not going far enough.

The ’Seafood Disruption Support Scheme’ – which opened for applications earlier this month – was aimed at seafood exporters that had incurred financial losses owing to Brexit border disruption.

 

Upon its launch, it was criticised for failing to include companies that had stopped trying to export to European customers, as well as small boat fishermen who did not directly export their catch. The speed of its implementation also attracted criticism.

On Sunday (21 February), Defra announced the eligibility criteria for the fund would be expanded to include the latter, with UK catching vessels that are under 40 metres long and shellfish aquaculture businesses now included.

Defra secretary George Eustice said the move would “ensure many more businesses can benefit from government support” and said the UK government would “continue to ensure we are listening to our fishing and seafood industry”.

However, a senior industry source criticised the government for failing to extend the funding to other key sectors.

“Crucially, it’s not going to be covering the processing sector. They’re still out there with no help at all,” they told The Grocer.

British processors of seafood destined for domestic and foreign hospitality markets have been hit in recent weeks after a number of British flagged boats began to land their catches in Denmark to avoid Brexit disruption.(continued...)

Author: Henry Sandercock / The Grocer | Read the full article by clicking the link here

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