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Saturday 8 March 2014

#ukstorms Financial help for fishermen!

The Government has announced further measures to help fishermen affected by the recent storms.

It pledged financial support under the European Fisheries Fund to reimburse up to 60% of the cost of replacing lost or damaged fishing gear such as lobster pots.

Lighthouse dues will be paid by the Government for a further year, saving the industry up to £140,000. Ministers had already announced fishermen will have access to the government's storm relief fund, including a £10 million package initially designed for farmers.

Industry leaders had warned that 4,000 fishermen and 2,000 vessels - chiefly in the South West – had been impacted by storms, with damage caused to everything from harbours to valuable fishing gear. The call for help was made by the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations when it met Fisheries Minister George Eustice in Newlyn, west Cornwall, last week.

Mr Eustice, also Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth, said yesterday: "The appalling storms over the last few months have had a severe impact on fishing communities and we recognise that many fishermen have lost static gear such as lobster and crab pots. "I saw first-hand the damage to net gear during a recent visit to Newlyn. We have made this funding available to minimise the impact on their livelihoods and help them to get back on their feet as quickly as possible."

Paul Trebilcock, chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations and chief executive of the Newlyn-based Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, welcomed the announcement. He said: "It is a positive gesture, there's no doubt about that. I think it will be appreciated by those fishermen who have had such a difficult start to the year and have lost income and gear due to the unprecedented storms. "I'm pleased that the minister has listened to what we had to say about the effects of the storms on the industry."

In the House of Commons earlier this week, Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston, whose constituency includes the fishing port of Brixham, warned of the "desperate plight of fishermen" and that some faced bankruptcy. She said the help was "welcome news".

Read more: http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Government-cash-pledged-pay-storm-damaged-fishing/story-20777939-detail/story.html#ixzz2vJ2jceyT