April 2020 Defra advice for fishing

Posted on 3rd April 2020

COVID-19 is continuing to put pressure on all parts of the fishing industry. Defra are considering a range of measures to support the industry, and below is an update of advice and the support measures that are currently in place.

Recreational Angling

  • The requirements on social distancing mean you should not be leaving your house in order to go fishing recreationally.

Government financial support package

A summary document explaining which of the government support measures are currently available to the seafood industry can be found here.

Information about all the government support available can be accessed through the new Coronavirus Business Support website which launched on Monday 23 March. It is designed to help businesses find the right support, advice and information to assist with the impact of Coronavirus.
The Chancellor has announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
The government will pay self-employed people, who have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be open for at least three months, backdated to 1 March.

  • If you’re eligible, HMRC will contact you directly, ask you to fill out a simple online form, then pay the grant straight into your bank account.

For small and medium sized businesses, the new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now open for applications.
Larger firms can also speak to their lenders to access The Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.
Information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is also available.

Guidance for UK businesses trading internationally 

The Department for International Trade has published updated guidance on the support that is available for businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by coronavirus, for example through assistance with customs authorities to ensure smooth clearance of products and financial support for businesses trading internationally.

Food production classed as key workers  

Schools, and all childcare providers, have been asked by the Government to continue to provide care for children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response, in line with guidance published on 19 March.

  • This comprises people involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, including the seafood industry.

Following the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Monday 23 March, the Government has published updated guidance for businesses in light of further social distancing measures, including the list of businesses and premises that must now be shut, and the measures that those retail and public premises that remain open must take to ensure social distancing. 

  • Where it is not possible to work from home people may continue to travel to work where necessary but are advised to follow social distancing guidelines where that is possible.

Aquaculture - Movement of live fish

As a result of the Government’s requirement to keep movements to a minimum, Defra have received a number of queries about whether movements of live fish from fish farms can continue.

  • Where the movement of fish is essential to support the food chain, or for fish welfare reasons, they can continue.


If you have any trouble accessing these measures, or if you have any other feedback on how Covid-19 is affecting you then please contact:


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