UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid has written to seafood industry leaders updating them on efforts to resolve issues around exports and highlighting the financial assistance the UK Government has made available to those who have incurred losses.
Minister Duguid chairs the new Scottish Seafood Exports Taskforce which draws together industry leaders, officials from key UK Government departments – including Defra and HMRC – as well as political and official representatives of the Scottish Government.
Mr Duguid said:
Ongoing engagement with the industry has helped us identify specific problems that have been causing difficulties since the end of the post-Brexit transition period.
We are seeing improvements as we seek to ease the journey of world-class Scottish seafood to export markets, but work continues as we try to streamline the process.
I have written to the sector’s leaders emphasising the importance of the UK Government’s £23m Seafood Disruption Support Scheme. The scheme, which is now live for applications, is designed to help small or medium-sized businesses who have experienced verifiable financial loss during the export of live fish or shellfish to the single market in January.
Earlier this week the UK Government announced that this support will now also be open to the catching and aquaculture sectors; more details will be announced in the coming days. In addition, the UK Government will be bringing forward details of a further £100m package to help the industry maximise the opportunities for growth now we are an independent coastal state able to chart our own course, free from the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.
The UK Government understands the vital importance of our fishing industry and is fully committed to ensuring its long-term well-being.