A new £1 million grant scheme has opened aimed at helping increase the supply of local seafood during the coronavirus crisis.
The new Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme is part of a £10 million fund for England’s fishing and aquaculture sectors that have been adversely impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seafood businesses can bid for funds for assets and infrastructure that will help them to sell their products domestically, adapt to changes in their markets and support projects that increase domestic consumption of seafood landed or processed in England.
Fisheries Minister, Victoria Prentis said: “This new grant scheme, part of a £10 million lifeline for our fisheries sector, will help our fishing industry find new markets for their catch during this challenging time which has seen falling prices and a downturn in restaurant and export sales.
“With growing demand for meals at home we are also looking for innovative ways to help fishermen adapt and be equipped to sell direct to local consumers.”
To support fisheries, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has expanded its grants team and increased its opening hours to administer the Fisheries Response Fund (FRF) which was announced at the same time as the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme. In the first week, the MMO team has made FRF payments of over £2 million to over 500 fishing vessel owners so far.
For details of the full financial help available to the fishing sector, click here.