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£300k "crisis" funding for fishing industry "an important first step"


Monday 16 January 2023

£300k "crisis" funding for fishing industry "an important first step"

Monday 16 January 2023

A £300,000 boost for Jersey's under-pressure maritime sector has been welcomed by local fishers as an "important first step" as they battle against rising costs, red tape and the impact of Brexit.

Announced today, the government's new Marine Sector Support Scheme will see financial assistance given to help cover rising operational costs such as fuel, staffing and increased safety requirements, as well as longer-term business investment.

However, the number of credits allocated to each eligible business will be linked to their environmental and social impacts.

"This will enable Jersey to remain competitive"

"This will be the first scheme of its type for our fishing sector and will build on our experience providing support to the rural economy," Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel commented.

Deputy Kirsten Morel.jpg

Pictured: Economic Development Minister Deputy Kirsten Morel.

"It’s a real opportunity to ensure we maintain and develop a sector that is an important part of Jersey’s heritage.

"In the short term, we are working closely with all stakeholders to design a scheme that can deliver support as swiftly as possible so that businesses can meet the many significant economic challenges that they currently face.

"Neighbouring jurisdictions already provide similar support to their marine sectors, and this will enable Jersey to remain competitive by delivering appropriate support to our sector."

"There is a strong case for being given support on an annual basis"

He added: "In the longer term, we want to tailor the scheme so that from 2024 and beyond, it helps us to deliver an outcome which is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

"Over the next few months there will be a consultation to enable the scheme to be tailored to the specific needs of the industry."

Don Thompson - CREDIT: Rob Currie

Pictured: Don Thompson, President of the Jersey Fishing Association. (Rob Currie)

But to have a real impact on the sector, Jersey Fishing Association President Don Thompson says that funding will have to be issued annually.

Describing the latest package as "crisis support", he added: "The government has recognised it needs to maintain this traditional industry but if we are going to revive the industry and make it buoyant again, there is a strong case for being given support on an annual basis."

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