The Portuguese government has approved a €20 million credit line for the national fishing and fish farming sector and suspended mooring fees for 90 days in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement sent out to newsrooms, the Ministry of the Sea revealed that the credit line allows companies to seek loans and renegotiate existing debts, with the State covering the interest.
The government has also “accelerated the payment” of the Fundo de Compensação Salarial dos Profissionais de Pesca – a fund that aims to financially support fishermen when they cannot perform their activity due to circumstances out of their control. Said the ministry, it has put aside around €350,000 to pay, at the start of April, the 508 bids for support.
The ministry also said it has been closely following the fishing sector’s situation and will put special measures in place to minimise the economic impact of the pandemic.
Making sure the country’s fishing ports stay open is a priority in order to ensure fish supplies at supermarkets, the ministry added.
An “extraordinary meeting” between the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fishing and European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius is due to take place on Wednesday in order to analyse and make further decisions.