Plymouth City Council has called on the government to do more to help the fishing industry, which it warns is on the ‘brink of collapse’.
The local authority has written to the environment secretary, George Eustice to lobby for urgent additional support for fishing.
In the letter, the council calls on ministers to ensure that fishing boats can be categorized as small businesses with premises, enabling them to be eligible for grants
It also calls on Whitehall to create a flexible funding pot which will enable innovative local solutions to challenges and secure the market price of fish to prevent sector collapse.
According to the council, the fishing industry supports more than 2,000 jobs in its local economy.
And across the three ports of Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham over £110m fish are landed every year.
The council recently backed the creation of a new website – Call 4 Fish – which connects the public and organisations directly with local suppliers who are able to deliver fish direct to doorsteps.
Call 4 Fish has already connected with over 293,000 people and is now branching out to other ports across the UK with 15 areas now signed up to provide the ‘quay to kerb’ service to the public.
‘We want to keep the port open, keep livelihoods going and keep people fishing, and to do that we need the government to take urgent action,’ said council leader, Cllr Tudor Evans.
‘As a local authority, we have done everything within our power and have supported the launch of Call 4 Fish, which is now being rolled out nationwide. But more needs to be done. Gaps in the current support for businesses need to be filled and more substantial interventions need to be put in place urgently to support our fishing industry.’
Photo Credit – Mcsc1995 (Pixabay)