Funding support offered to fishing sector to mitigate Brexit and Covid-19 impacts
Fishing businesses and marine organisations have been awarded funding to mitigate the impacts of Brexit and help the sector recover from effects of Covid-19.
The financial support of almost £800,000 – part of the £14 million Marine Fund Scotland – was announced by Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon last week in a food and drink debate in the Scottish Parliament.
Ms Gougeon, speaking during the debate, said producers, farmers and fishermen faced a range of new and emerging challenges – shortages of HGV drivers, workers in processing and manufacturing; and Brexit border disruptions and barriers to trade.
She added the food and drink sector had been one of the industries most adversely affected by Brexit, undermining its ambition to double turnover to £30 billion by 2030.
Looking to the future, Ms Gougeon said: “Scotland will be recognised as a global leader in sustainable agriculture.
"Whilst remaining aligned to the principles of the EU, we will also have a support framework that delivers climate mitigation and adaptation, nature restoration and high quality food production. This includes our commitment to double the amount of land used for organic farming by 2026.”
Speaking after the debate, she added: “Everyday people do extraordinary things to keep Scotland fed – particularly our fishers who put their lives at risk to ensure we all get to enjoy fresh seafood and fish.
“We are determined to support them to do so safely and sustainably.”