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Support for Island’s seafood industry extended

A government scheme giving financial assistance to seafood businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is being extended.

Officials have announced Coronavirus Fisheries Industry Support Scheme will continue until August 31 after receiving approval in Tynwald this week.

The initiative was set up in April to help protect fishing vessel owners and seafood businesses which lost trade due to the health emergency.

Whilst most restrictions have now been lifted locally, it's estimated the value of first sale fish has dropped by more than 60 per cent since January.

Speaking following the decision, Environment, Food & Agriculture Minister, Geoffrey Boot MHK, says: "Our initial response was quick and meaningful but the industry continues to face significant challenges.

"This 12 week extension will help the Manx fishing fleet and many local seafood businesses and prevent lasting damage to the industry for the benefit of the Isle of Man people."

Meanwhile, farmers will also have access to financial support after the Agricultural Development Scheme 2019 was amended - it was also launched in April but then halted due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The amendment means farmers will receive payments at the same level as those provided in the 2019/20 financial year.

 

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