Argyll and Bute Council has welcomed the announcement from Scottish Government today (26 March) of a £5M package of support for the seafood fishing industry. Funding will be offered to over 650 seafood fishing companies across Scotland to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.
Councillor Aileen Morton said:
“Seafood, fishing and hospitality are all vital industries that contribute to the economic development across Argyll and Bute. The outbreak is having a devastating impact on our coastal communities with the collapse of export and hospitality markets. I am pleased that the Government has recognised the need to offer financial support to all businesses during this difficult time.”
An initial payment of 50% of two months’ average earnings will be made to owners of all full time Scottish registered fishing vessels of 12 metres length and under – the vast majority of which are in the creel and dive sectors, many of whom operate in remote and island communities.
Support is also being developed for the onshore processing industry – one of the largest employers in Scotland’s coastal communities – and others in the shellfish growing sector which is being affected by the loss of trade and markets.
Marine Scotland will be writing to all vessels and relevant representative Associations with more details. Queries can be emailed to: email@example.com
The scheme is composed of the following elements:
- full time is being defined as where a vessel has recorded landings of £20,000 or more. This is the same limit that has been applied in previous schemes vessels that are under 12 metres in length and were registered in Scotland on the 18 March 2020
- earnings are defined as recorded landing income from sales notes from 2019. These data are submitted to Marine Scotland by buyers
- monthly payments are based on monthly average 2019 sales income
- wrasse catching vessels will not be included in this initial scheme as their markets remain largely uninterrupted