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A message from SEA partner the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation

A message from SEA partner the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation (SCFF) in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and repercussions of this to small-scale fishermen.

“Can ALL Scottish Fishermen, especially those who rely on the live market, please email their MSP’s and MP’s asap and inform them of their predicament regarding the loss of market and ask that a hardship fund be set up to assist them ASAP. SCFF are pushing hard for this but they have asked for evidence to support our request, the more the merrier. The “support for business” link that is being circulated by IFG’s will most likely not apply to the smallest boats as they do not pay rates.

SCFF have been involved in conference calls with several MSP’s, government officials and industry reps. The whole seafood sector is being affected by the COVID-19 virus, however among the worst affected are the inshore creel fishers due to the sudden collapse of the European live shellfish markets. SCFF have been lobbying hard for some sort of emergency mitigation, we originally thought (government and industry) that the £3000 small business grant would be available to the creel boats, however that grant is based on having a rate-able business and as creel vessels have no premises ashore, we don’t pay rates and we are therefore not covered. This has been made clear to government and we are presently awaiting advice on how they intend to proceed. We have pitched for an interim solution (like the grant rules changing) and a longer term mitigation like a hardship fund etc. 
Will update as soon as we hear anything in the interim just know there’s a lot of work going into finding a sensible way ahead and the more of you that write to your MSP’s and MP’s the more chance we have of getting a decent piece of the pie.”

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