The NFFO, with the support of Nathan de Rozarieux and the Fishmongers Company, has produced guidance to help different types of fishing vessel undertake Covid-19 risk assessments.
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Some parts of the UK fleet have been able to fish on through the coronavirus emergency, bringing food to tables during a time when the crisis was at its worst. Other vessels have seen their markets disappear completely and have had no option but to tie up. Whatever their current situation, vessels going back to sea or continuing to fish, will face a new set of challenges relating to how they might operate in a world in which a second surge in the pandemic is an ongoing threat.
Developing a participatory approach to the management of fishing activity in UK offshore Marine Protected Areas
Successfully involving the fishing sector and stakeholders in decision-making over the management of fisheries in marine protected areas (MPAs) is important to their overall effectiveness and sustainable management of our seas. The results of a new project including new tools and approaches to use when establishing, evaluating and adapting fisheries management measures in MPAs aims to help achieve just that.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on merchant seafarers, fishers and their families, the Seafarers UK charity has created a new Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Fund of £2million, with £500,000 immediately allocated to assist fishing communities across Britain.
After last week’s round of negotiations, Michel Barnier singled out fisheries as one of the areas where insufficient progress is being made towards the point at the end of June when a decision is to be made (according to the Withdrawal Agreement) on whether to proceed with negotiations. Having ceased to be an EU member State at the end of January, the UK has repeatedly indicated its intention to leave the transitional period and not to ask for an extension.
Detailed advice has been provided by the MMO on accessing the Government’s financial support for fishing businesses.
Statement by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations
£10 million fund for England’s fishing and aquaculture sectors announced. More than 1,000 fishing and aquaculture businesses in England will receive direct cash grants through a fisheries support scheme announced today by Environment Secretary George Eustice and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay.
After intense political activity, and in some quarters mounting despair, the Government has overnight announced a package of financial support for the English fleet. Its purpose is to mitigate some of the impacts of the coronavirus health emergency by covering some of the fixed costs faced by fishing businesses, whilst facing collapsed or seriously depleted markets.
The NFFO has continued to ratchet up political pressure on the Government for a financial support package for the English fleets. Hundreds of MPs, including coastal MPs and government ministers, including those in the Treasury, have received briefing notes and urged to intervene. The telephone lines have been red hot as Scotland, Northern Ireland and then Wales announced support for their schemes. So far, the Treasury has stalled on English support, apparently fearful of setting a precedent for other sectors of the economy which fall through the financial support measures already announced.