Fishing industry leaders fear firms will have gone bankrupt before government financial aid is available.
Last week, The Sunday Post revealed how delivery delays caused by post-Brexit red tape are leading to hundreds of thousands of pounds of orders being cancelled, boats being forced to remain in harbour and continental buyers threatening to take their custom elsewhere.
The UK government last week promised £100 million in financial aid for the industry.
Elaine Whyte, of the Clyde Fishermen’s Association, which represents more than 40 crews operating off the west coast, said she feared any compensation package would be too late.
She said: “We are looking to compensation but our concern is, by the time it comes, people are bankrupt. It’s a circular chain of money. People can’t afford to be waiting for payment of, say, £10,000 as they can’t then pay their own bills.
“It’s now affecting a whole chain, including engineers, net-makers, hauliers and fish processors.
“It’s a national industry and an asset to the whole of Scotland.
“Resilience is already worn down by Covid and there was bad weather before that. It’s become a perfect storm and we need action before it’s too late.”
Jimmy Buchan, chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association, said: “The industry in Scotland has basically ground to a halt.”
Industry leaders met yesterday with Scots fishing minister David Duguid and UK Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis to find solutions.
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