UK Minister for Scotland David Duguid has updated seafood industry leasers on additional support available for fish and shellfish exporters
UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid has written to seafood industry leaders updating them on efforts to resolve issues around exports and highlighting the financial assistance the UK Government has made available to those who have incurred losses.
Minister Duguid chairs the new Scottish Seafood Exports Taskforce which draws together industry leaders, officials from key UK Government departments – including Defra and HMRC – as well as political and official representatives of the Scottish Government.
Mr Duguid said:
“Ongoing engagement with the industry has helped us identify specific problems that have been causing difficulties since the end of the post-Brexit transition period.
“We are seeing improvements as we seek to ease the journey of world-class Scottish seafood to export markets, but work continues as we try to streamline the process.
“I have written to the sector’s leaders emphasising the importance of the UK Government’s £23m Seafood Disruption Support Scheme. The scheme, which is now live for applications, is designed to help small or medium-sized businesses who have experienced verifiable financial loss during the export of live fish or shellfish to the single market in January.
“Earlier this week the UK Government announced that this support will now also be open to the catching and aquaculture sectors; more details will be announced in the coming days. In addition, the UK Government will be bringing forward details of a further £100m package to help the industry maximise the opportunities for growth now we are an independent coastal state able to chart our own course, free from the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.
The UK Government understands the vital importance of our fishing industry and is fully committed to ensuring its long-term well-being.”
The Seafood Disruption Support Scheme offers individual businesses up to £100,000 each. Eligibility data and a portal for applications are available here
The Scottish Seafood Exports Taskforce, hosted by the Scotland Office, emerged from ongoing consultation with the seafood and aquaculture industry. It is due to meet again tomorrow (Friday 26 Feb) when details of work by officials on simplifying the export process is on the agenda.
The taskforce’s remit is to be an overarching body delivering action on medium to long-term issues for the industry, and to complement Defra’s twice-weekly seafood working groups with the aim of increasing confidence in the seafood and aquaculture supply chains.