News article

Coronavirus: £1.5 million support package for fishing industry

6 April 2020


Financial scheme to help the fishing industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

A new £1.5 million support package for Northern Ireland’s fishing industry has been announced by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

The financial scheme will help the fishing industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, after social distancing measures and the collapse of the European and domestic fish markets have made trading virtually impossible.

The assistance will be for three months with a maximum amount of total funding per ‘undertaking’ capped at around £104,000.

It will be delivered via monthly payments varying with vessel size as below:

Vessel overall length (metres) Monthly payment (£)
0-10 £1,050
10.01-11.99 £1,800
12.00-14.99 £3,550
15 and over £4,550

Scheme conditions

The following conditions apply:

  • The vessel must be a fishing vessel registered in NI
  • The vessel must normally be active during the period March to May
  • The vessel must have had fish landings of at least £10,000 in 2019
  • Vessels of overall length 28m and over are not eligible
  • The vessels must be available to fish if there is a market for their product (i.e. this is not a “tie-up” scheme)

Further information

DAERA will inform vessel owners in due course about how to apply for the scheme and provide further details including appeals. It is anticipated that the first payments would be made early in May 2020.

DAERA is aware that the EU intends to further amend the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to give additional support to the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in response to COVID-19. The details of these changes will be considered as they emerge and industry will be consulted.


First published 6 April 2020