Fishing Minister Victoria Prentis has written an open letter to the UK’s all those who contribute to our fishing, seafood and aquaculture industries, thanking them for their continuing vital work.
‘As a nation we are all undoubtedly going through one of the greatest health challenges of a generation and over the past few weeks the Government has taken some unprecedented steps; instructing people to stay at home, to protect our NHS and save lives,’ Victoria Prentis said.
‘I know these are challenging times for us all and I would like to pay particular tribute to those of you who are, where possible, continuing to work and help feed our nation – your work is vital.’
She commented that coronavirus has affected every part of our economy and this has been felt particularly severely by the fishing, seafood and aquaculture industries.
‘Sectors right across the economy shoulder a similar burden and the Chancellor has been clear from the start that we will do whatever it takes to support people through such unprecedented times, announcing economy-wide support for business and the self-employed. I will continue to work with industry so share fisherman and fisheries businesses understand how to access this support,’ Victoria Prentis writes, adding that measures are being place to support the industry, including a proportion of the fund earmarked to support initiatives to encourage the public to buy locally-caught fish.
‘To the public, I urge you to support your local fishermen at this time. I am particularly pleased to see home delivery initiatives to connect consumers with local fishmongers, fishermen and merchants. The Marine Management Organisation is working closely with industry to help facilitate these arrangements,’ she writes.
‘I also want to mention the invaluable work carried out by specialist charities for fishing communities. I am immensely grateful for all those in the fishing, seafood and aquaculture industries who continue to operate in these testing times, or who have reduced operations to limit the spread of the disease.’