£233K Support For Fishermen

More than £200,000 will help Jersey's fishing industry recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Ministers have approved a separate support scheme for the island's fleet.

The Fisheries Support Scheme will provide financial help for June and July to pay the industry's fixed costs while the export market remains closed and hospitality sector is only just beginning to reopen.

Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham says fishing is an important part of the economy and in need of short-term assistance.

Up to £233,400 has been allocated from government reserves, and those eligible to apply are being contacted and told how to.

Today's announcement follows concerns raised - including by the Environment Minister who said that Phase 2 of the Payroll Co-funding Scheme did not offer enough to keep the fishing fleet at sea. Fishing was also not eligible for any help under Phase 1 of the of the wage subsidies.

Islanders have been supporting the industry by buying directly from fishermen  - at harbours, beaches and stands and via social media groups advertising the catches of the day, but it's hoped the extra subsidies will keep more fishing vessels in business.

“This support for the fishing industry, from the beginning of June, is in addition to the support that is being more widely offered to businesses. A review will be conducted before the end of July to determine whether further support will be needed after that month.” - Treasury Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel.

The Environment Minister, Deputy John Young, has welcomed the additional support scheme:

"Jersey’s fishermen are having a tough time, not only because of the impact of Covid-19 but also because of the uncertainty
created by Brexit, and this scheme is intended to provide some short-term relief to enable them to continue.”

Don Thompson, President of the Jersey Fishermens' Association, says members will be pleased to be able to pay a backlog of bills.

"The fishing industry was the first to be affected by the Covid crisis in that the export market collapsed even before the lockdown started- so boats have been tied up for a very long time.  Thankfully  there has been some really great support for local sales by the public of Jersey and that has been a lifesaver for fishermen.  It is not enough in the long-term to keep boats going, but it has enabled the boys to feed their families."

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