Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th June 2021.

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Photo of Kieran Mullan Kieran Mullan Conservative, Crewe and Nantwich

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the fishing industry.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is committed to supporting the fishing industry and ensuring a prosperous and sustainable seafood sector. Now that we have left the EU we will use our Fisheries Act to deliver bespoke fisheries management for the benefit of the whole of the UK.

Earlier this year we delivered a funding package of up to £23 million, which was used to deliver temporary support schemes to seafood businesses affected by COVID-19 and new trading conditions. This was used to deliver the Seafood Disruption Support Scheme, which paid seafood businesses a proportion of export losses experienced in January, and the Seafood Response Fund, which paid three months of average fixed costs to fishing and shellfish aquaculture businesses.

£32.7 million has been made available to support the seafood sector this financial year, which meets the Government’s manifesto commitment to maintain funding for the sector. Part of this funding will be used to deliver funding schemes in each of the four administrations of the UK. In England, the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme will support the long-term sustainable growth of the seafood sector and will initially focus on helping businesses adapt to new conditions and opportunities arising from leaving the EU, as well as supporting the on-going recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

The Government has gone even further than its manifesto commitment with the Prime Minister’s announcement that an additional £100 million will be made available across the UK for transformative seafood projects that will rejuvenate the industry and our coastal communities. It will be used to invest in: modernising and expanding infrastructure; the science and data needed to ensure a sustainable sector; and the training required to ensure the workforce has the capacity, skills and expertise required for a thriving and prosperous industry. More detail on this funding will be made available in due course.

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