Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

Speaking after the announcement from Minister Edwin Poots MLA regarding additional support for the fishing fleet arising from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Alan McCulla OBE, Chief Executive of ANIFPO/Sea Source said;

“Clearly we would prefer to be in a situation where this financial help was not needed, but we are not there yet. Seafood was one of the first sectors to be impacted by the Coronavirus with markets worldwide closing down. Over the summer there has been some recovery, but from early June we have been in discussions with DAERA officials about contingency planning for the autumn/winter months when a second wave of the virus was forecast. Today’s announcement is the result of many weeks of detailed discussion.”

“The Minister’s intervention allows us to manage supplies to our markets at home and abroad with the aim of stabilising prices for the next few months. It is also a vote of confidence in Northern Ireland’s fishing industry as we look ahead to the opportunities arising from the end of the transition period and the United Kingdom leaving the EU.”

“We welcome Minister Poots’ and the Northern Ireland Executive’s help. Northern Ireland’s were some of the first fishermen in these islands to receive financial help in the spring because of Covid19 and at this time are the only fishermen in the UK or island of Ireland set to receive a second tranche of help.”

“A large part of finances behind this scheme had already been earmarked for the fishing industry. Working with DAERA we made strategic decisions as to how these funds could be best apportioned to assist the fleet. The options for a voluntary tie-up scheme for mobile gear fleet and a fixed cost scheme for the static gear inshore fleet will be welcome help for Northern Ireland’s fishermen between now and year end.”