- The Government has announced fishing and aquaculture businesses in England will receive direct cash grants through a fisheries support scheme
- This has come far too late, leaving the UK fishing industry with uncertainty for too long
- As export markets are disrupted, the prospect of an economic collapse in fishing is real and needs to be taken more seriously by the Government
Responding the the government’s support package for fishing, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard said:
“Labour has consistently called for more support for fishing and this announcement represents a start of the support fishing deserved weeks ago. Ministers have waited too long to provide this support and there must not be any new delay in payments being made to fishers.
“With our near neighbours backing their fishing industries with bolder financial measures, their fishers will emerge from the Coronavirus crisis in a much better position than many in the British fleet.
“Ministers claim they will negotiate a great new fisheries deal with the EU that will benefit our fisherman but there will be no point if British fishing boats have gone out of business in the meantime.
“Britain imports the vast majority of the fish we eat and exports the vast majority of fish we catch, so with export markets closed and those that are open severely disrupted, the prospect of an economic collapse in fishing is real and needs to be taken more seriously by the Government. This funding is a start but must not be the end of support for this iconic part of our coastal economies.”