Seafood businesses will be offered £250,000 of continued financial support in a bid to protect the long-term viability of the Island’s fishing industry.
The Isle of Man Government launched the Coronavirus Fisheries Support Scheme in April, to help businesses and fishing vessel owners that lost trade due to the global health emergency.
Since the start of the pandemic the scheme has awarded nearly £640,000 in grants to help keep the industry afloat after seafood markets were left devastated. It is estimated that the total value of first sale fish has halved since March with, for example, the price of queen scallops reducing by 40%.
The prolonged loss of income has left many in the industry facing significant financial pressures and is having a knock-on effect on crew retention and vessel maintenance.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘The continued support will aid those who otherwise might not survive.
‘Local seafood markets, that are predominantly export based, remain significantly depressed and this much needed support is vital to protect the long-term viability of the Island’s fishing industry.’
‘The seafood sector, including processing, is worth an estimated £20m a year in the Isle of Man, so we must do all we can to help it weather this storm.’
Subject to Tynwald approval the scheme will be extended by nine weeks for fishing vessel owners and 12 weeks for seafood businesses and broker traders at a cost of £250,000.
Those wishing to apply for the first time can contact DEFA Fisheries on +44 7624 685857 or email@example.com.