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Harper hails fishing help

THE fishing industry has been hard-hit but inshore fishers who usually harvest shellfish will now be able to diversify into new markets and access fishing opportunities worth up to £2million. MSP Emma Harper is hailing a new package aimed at helping the industry during the Coronavirus CRISIS means that Scottish vessels will be able to access additional fish quotas around the North Sea and west coast. Scotland's seafood fishing sector has been one of the hardest hit due to the collapse of the international shellfish market, causing significant challenges for families, businesses and local communities in some of the most remote rural and island communities. This additional quota will help many of those fishers and includes: an additional 800 tonnes of mackerel - 500 tonnes in the North Sea and 300 tonnes in the west coast additional demersal quotas including haddock, anglerfish, whiting, pollack, saithe, ling, lemon sole and skates and rays for the North Sea and west of Scotland Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Fishing in our inshore waters for shellfish is a longstanding and lucrative part of our wider fishing industry but the loss of markets practically overnight due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many businesses tieing up their vessels. “With continued uncertainty regarding future market access and demand, this additional £2million of potential fishing opportunities will provide scope for some vessels to diversify and help families and businesses in our coastal communities. It also has the potential to ensure that more people in the UK get to enjoy locally and sustainably caught fish from our waters and I hope retailers will play their part in making that happen. “This support is in addition to the £22.5 million that has already been made available by the Scottish Government to the seafood industry, and which was already the largest support package in the UK.” Miss Harper, South Scotland MSP said: “This is good news for the Scottish fishing industry and demonstrates the value placed on the industry across Scotland as well as our local fishing businesses here in Dumfries and Galloway. “I've met with many local stakeholders since my election and kept in touch with them since the Covid-19 lockdown also. I know that they have experienced even more challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic on top of the continued uncertainty around Brexit - so I welcome the announcement of the news of an increase in fishing quotas.”

<< back Published: 01 Jun 2020, 11:36

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