The government has announced that more than 1,000 fishing and aquaculture businesses in England will receive direct cash grants through a new fisheries support scheme.

The scheme will make available grants of up to £9 million for eligible fishing and aquaculture businesses. These measures will help support businesses with small to medium-sized boats up to 24 metres in length with fishing licences registered in England who recorded sales of £10,000 or more in 2019.

The majority of the fish caught by these fishermen is usually for export and the price and customer base has been slashed. The new scheme will run for up to three months and will focus on helping English fishing and aquaculture businesses with their fixed costs such as insurance, equipment hire and port costs.

A further £1 million will be made available to support projects to assist fishermen to sell their catch in their local communities. This money is expected to help fishing businesses find new ways to market and sell their catch while traditional markets are restricted.

The seafood and fisheries sectors can also apply for the existing support available for businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme.