Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister, Edwin Poots MLA has said that he has agreed to a Paper that will create supports for the fishing industry in Northern Ireland.
Fishing for whitefish and shellfish has all but come to a stand-still in the ports around Northern Ireland. With the local fishing fleet tied-up in their harbours for more than two weeks now, it has meant boat owners, skippers and crew have been without income.
The collapse in markets, home and abroad, since the outbreak of COVID-19 has seen prices for some species drop making it uneconomical to continue fishing. Local fishing organisations have been encouraging people to buy locally caught fish but it is still not enough to make-up for the huge losses being suffered by the industry.
In his tweet making the announcement Minister Poots said “The market for our fish products has been badly affected by the Covid19 outbreak.
“I have agreed a paper to assist the industry and am hopeful Executive colleagues will support it.”
The news of the paper was welcomed by the Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation (Nifpo) who said “We welcome the Minister’s efforts to support Northern Ireland fishing. These are challenging times all round.”