£3m to Support Scotland’s Trout and Shellfish Farmers through COVID-19 Outbreak

£3m to Support Scotland’s Trout and Shellfish Farmers through COVID-19 Outbreak

Aquaculture businesses threatened by the effects of the coronavirus can now access financial support from the Scottish Government.

The Aquaculture Hardship Fund will pay grants to eligible aquaculture businesses in Scotland that are most at risk of immediate financial collapse due to the disappearance of domestic and export food markets.

Hardship payments of up to £27,000 are being made available for around 100 shellfish growing and trout farming businesses. These producers have both been affected by a dramatic reduction in the food service and export markets because of the measures necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Trout growers have also been impacted by the closure of supermarket fish counters during the epidemic and a reluctance by processors and retailers to take portion trout.

To access a grant, shellfish and trout businesses are required to demonstrate that the business operates on a full-time basis and has suffered severe hardship as a result of the coronavirus.

Grant payments will cover two months and be equivalent to 50% of the average monthly gross revenue from sales of aquaculture products in 2019 of each business.

Further details can be accessed directly from the Scottish Government.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

‘This package of financial support meets the unique needs and circumstances of Scotland’s economy and will provide support for our most vulnerable aquaculture businesses.

‘Payments will be made directly to eligible shellfish growers and trout farmers as soon as possible.’