Thu. Dec 3rd, 2020

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

MP welcomes support for seafood businesses

2 min read

Well-used wood and netting lobster pots stacked on Whitby harbour. Coloured netting adds soft shades

MP Bob Seely has welcomed a £1 million grant scheme designed to increase the supply of local seafood during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme – announced yesterday by DEFRA and the Marine Management Organisation – is designed to help seafood businesses adapt to changes in their markets caused by Covid-19 by funding changes to their businesses and/or infrastructure that will help them to sell their products domestically.

The scheme can be used to assist the industry to set up local and regional distribution such as plant and equipment to help with local fish processing, or assets that can be shared at port such as storage and refrigerated vans.

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.

“Applications are invited from groups of businesses in the fishing, aquaculture and fish processing industries or individual businesses engaged in activities which support the seafood supply chain.”

 

Bob said: “I welcome this support for our seafood businesses on the Island. Things have changed quickly for our local businesses in a very short space of time. This fund is there to help them adapt to those changes.

 

“I urge all businesses on the Island in the seafood industry to look at this funding pot to see if it can help them. I welcome any feedback.”

 

Applications for the new scheme, can be made here until 11 May: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-seafood-supply-scheme-dsss-how-to-apply-for-project-funding

 

As well as this financial support, qualifying seafood businesses may also qualify for other Government support. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has produced a guide to what is available: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/an-update-from-tom-mccormack-ceo-marine-management-organisation