Sea Fisheries Hardship Fund

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Marine Scotland division of the Scottish Government is providing payments of up to £27,000 to operators of Scottish-registered fishing vessels 12 metres or less in length, which have lost their source of income due to markets collapsing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and have no other source of income to support them.

Am I eligible?

Yes, if you:

  • operate a Scottish-registered fishing vessel 12 metres or less in length
  • are making a full-time living from commercial sea fishing
  • can show that you have or will suffer market failure or loss as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
  • do not have alternative markets available

If your vessel is not eligible for this initial support package, but is in urgent need of support, you can submit an enquiry by email to

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Scottish-registered fishing vessels including creelers, divers, and smaller trawlers and dredge vessels, many of which operate in remote and island communities.

How long does this take?

This will depend on the complexity of your application.

Important information

An initial payment equal to 50% of two months’ average vessel earnings will be made.

Initial payments will be capped at a maximum of £27,000 as the Scottish Government explores State Aid restrictions and where there are owners of multiple vessels.

The grant must not be used for any of the following purposes:

  • the purchase of new vessels
  • the modernisation or replacement of main or ancillary engines of fishing vessels
  • any operations to increase the fishing capacity of a vessel or equipment to increase the ability of a vessel to find fish
  • the construction of new fishing vessels or importation of fishing vessels
  • the transfer of ownership of a business

Those vessels not eligible for this initial support package, but who feel they are in urgent need of support, can submit an enquiry by email to

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to download an application form.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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