Government Agrees to Second Financial Support Package

After weeks of lobbying by the NFFO the Government has announced a further tranche of financial support for the fishing industry. An announcement has been made of a rerun of last April’s Fisheries Response Fund under a new heading of Seafood Response Fund, with a number of adjustments and on a UK rather than an England-only basis. The package will draw on the £23 million fund already announced. The NFFO has made the case that if fishing businesses are to survive this extended period of depleted and disrupted markets, over a period then they still face significant fixed costs, then the Government must again step in. The Government has now responded to those concerns.

Taking Stock and Moving Forward

As the old year faded away, and the new year dawns, we lick our wounds and take stock of the tasks that lie in front of us.

Draft Joint Statement & Press Release 

Government, the national fishing federations and the Fishermen’s Mission share a commitment to the whole fishing industry. This means not only the fishing businesses that make up the sector - but also the crews who work on the vessels as owner/operators, self-employed share-fishermen, or fishermen under employment contracts. 

Covid-19: Social Distancing and the Fishing Industry

The NFFO, with the support of Nathan de Rozarieux and the Fishmongers Company, has produced guidance to help different types of fishing vessel undertake Covid-19 risk assessments.

Covid-Safe Fishing: Adapting to the New Conditions

Some parts of the UK fleet have been able to fish on through the coronavirus emergency, bringing food to tables during a time when the crisis was at its worst. Other vessels have seen their markets disappear completely and have had no option but to tie up. Whatever their current situation, vessels going back to sea or continuing to fish, will face a new set of challenges relating to how they might operate in a world in which a second surge in the pandemic is an ongoing threat.

£500,000 from Seafarers UK for Fishers Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on merchant seafarers, fishers and their families, the Seafarers UK charity has created a new Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Fund of £2million, with £500,000 immediately allocated to assist fishing communities across Britain.

Fisheries Response Fund: Detailed Advice

Detailed advice has been provided by the MMO on accessing the Government’s financial support for fishing businesses.

Fisheries Response Fund

Statement by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations

Government announces financial support for England’s fishing businesses

£10 million fund for England’s fishing and aquaculture sectors announced. More than 1,000 fishing and aquaculture businesses in England will receive direct cash grants through a fisheries support scheme announced today by Environment Secretary George Eustice and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay.

Financial Support Package Announced for English Fishing Industry

After intense political activity, and in some quarters mounting despair, the Government has overnight announced a package of financial support for the English fleet. Its purpose is to mitigate some of the impacts of the coronavirus health emergency by covering some of the fixed costs faced by fishing businesses, whilst facing collapsed or seriously depleted markets.

Political Pressure for Support Package Ratcheted Up

The NFFO has continued to ratchet up political pressure on the Government for a financial support package for the English fleets. Hundreds of MPs, including coastal MPs and government ministers, including those in the Treasury, have received briefing notes and urged to intervene. The telephone lines have been red hot as Scotland, Northern Ireland and then Wales announced support for their schemes. So far, the Treasury has stalled on English support, apparently fearful of setting a precedent for other sectors of the economy which fall through the financial support measures already announced.

Supporting the UK’s fishing industry through COVID-19 and beyond: New Interactive Retail Map and Grants Programme Launched

COVID-19 has resulted in the closure of fish markets and the UK restaurant trade is now at a standstill. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we help fishers find local markets, so that they can keep working and to ensure that the British public has access to a vital, fresh food supply.

Frustration Mounting

Frustration is mounting across those parts of the fishing industry impacted by the coronavirus, but which fall through the gaps in the financial support offered by the government. NFFO Chief Executive, Barrie Deas said, “We know that the case has been made to Treasury for a support package for the fishing industry. We also know that this is being discussed at the highest levels within government – but the delay in making an announcement as we head into a holiday weekend is creating a profound sense of frustration, not to say despair.”

Covid-19 NFFO Briefing Note for MPs

National Federation of Fishermen's Organisanisations Covid-19 support package for the fishing industry briefing - April 2020

Pressure Mounts on Government for Fishing Support Package

Pressure is mounting on the UK Government for a support package for the fishing industry in England and Wales. Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man have already announced financial support packages of various kinds for their fleets. The focus is now on Westminster for parallel support for fishing businesses squeezed by mounting fixed costs and collapsed demand, due to covid-19, and who cannot access other business support mechanisms.

Covid-19 Support for the Fishing Industry

Follow the link below to a summary of the support that is available to the fishing industry as at 3rd April 2020.

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Use this scheme if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus.

NFFO Pressing Government for Bespoke Fishing Support Package

The immediate issue confronting the fishing industry, as the covid-19 virus crisis takes grip of the economy, are the gaps in the otherwise very significant financial support measures announced by the Government.

Financial Support Package

It is widely acknowledged that the UK Government’s package of financial support to mitigate the economic impacts of the coronavirus health emergency, is unprecedented outside wartime. The immediate task is to assess how good a fit those support packages are for the fishing industry, which is in many ways unique as an economic sector, and to identify any gaps which require additional attention. Government and industry are dealing with a dynamic and fluid situation under extreme time pressures.

NFFO/UKAFPO Reaction to Coronavirus Support Measures

Until yesterday, provision for the self-employed was the biggest gap in the UK Government’s unprecedented package of financial support measures to mitigate the economic shock caused by the coronavirus health emergency. There is no doubting the scale of the ambition and the clear intention behind the steps taken so far.

Support Package for Self-Employed Share Fishermen in next 24/48 Hours

An announcement is expected within the next 24/48 hours on package of support that will help self-employed share-fishermen impacted by the coronavirus. A proposal has been submitted to the Treasury for decision. Whilst no guarantees are being given, there are high expectations that this new package will fill some of the gaps in the economic support measures announced so far. Self-employed share-fishermen are not eligible for the support given to wage earners (80% of earnings up to £2500 per month) and so it is imperative that the government acts urgently to fill this gap.The announcement on share fishermen is likely to be part of a package on measures for the self-employed more generally.

NFFO during the Shutdown

In compliance with the Government’s instructions to limit attendance at workplaces, the NFFO office in York will be closing with immediate effect. This does not mean in any way that the Federation will cease to function. At this crucial time, it will continue to represent fishermen and vessel operators across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, albeit through different means than travelling to face-to-face meetings.

Response to Coronavirus Epidemic

The Government has reacted to the potential health and economic damage caused by the pandemic, by announcing interventions on a scale not seen before outside mobilisation for war. New measures to encourage social distancing and to limit economic damage are being announced daily, with the aim of saving lives and preventing heath support systems being overwhelmed. Within the economy and society, individuals, businesses and organisations are taking their own steps to mitigate the impact of the temporary but massive crisis.

Joint Action Group on Coronavirus Formed

A joint fishing sector/government action group has been formed to work on urgent measures to support the fishing industry through the coronavirus emergency. The virus has created a public health emergency, as well a profound economic crisis. The most immediate effect is being felt in a liquidity crisis in fishing businesses, where demand has reduced, and in some cases dried completely. The picture is a mixed one, with shellfish bearing the brunt of the crisis in its early stages.

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