Peter Aldous highlights local disparities in the allocation of funding through the domestic seafood supply scheme and calls for Government support to enable the East Anglian fishing industry to meet the infrastructure and other costs in preparation for the end of the transition period.
We understand that this is a challenging time for the fishing industry and we have taken steps to support the sector. In April, we launched a £10 million financial assistance package for England’s fishing and aquaculture businesses, which included a £1 million grant scheme to support the sale of fish locally. The sector is also able to benefit from the wider financial support measures available for businesses. In addition, the Sea For Yourself campaign has encouraged people to eat more fish.
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer. The process of determining which businesses received funding through the domestic seafood supply scheme has been criticised as being unfair. While one project in the Lowestoft area was successful, two good applications were not. What assistance will be available to these and other businesses so as to enable the East Anglian fishing industry to meet the infrastructure and other costs in preparation for the end of the transition period?
I cannot discuss the individual cases, but I can say that applications were reviewed by a panel of experts, including several representatives from the catching and processing sectors. The judging panel awarded funding to projects that best met the criteria, especially those that could deliver benefits to a range of fishing businesses.
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