“But the market for some products has disappeared almost overnight, leaving many at risk of financial ruin”. Aquaculture businesses threatened by the effects of COVID-19 can now get financial support from the Scottish Government.
The Scottish government has announced that hardship payments of up to GBP 27,000 are being made available for around 100 businesses which make a full time living from shellfish growing and trout farming.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said that COVID-19 is having “a profound impact on all aspects of Scottish life”.
“Aquaculture has been a thriving part of the Scottish rural economy, particularly our islands, and a key contributor to our food and drink success story in recent years. But the market for some products has disappeared almost overnight, leaving many at risk of financial ruin.
“Action is required urgently to preserve the future of Scotland’s aquaculture sector and the social fabric of our remote and rural communities which is now under threat.
Ewing said that payments will be made directly to eligible trout farmers “as soon as possible.”
Chief Executive of the British Trout Association Oliver Robinson, which has as DawnFresh and Kames and more much as members, said:
“Despite their ongoing hard work, Scottish trout farmers have unfortunately experienced significant disruption to their businesses requiring support to allow them to look after the health and wellbeing of their staff and the welfare of their fish.
“They are greatly encouraged by the support now being offered by Scottish Government.”