Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government to provide vital support to the fishing industry with an initial package of more than £5 million to assist businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The collapse of export and hospitality markets for Scottish seafood has left island crews facing very difficult times.

Mr MacNeil said: “An initial payment of 50% of two months’ average earnings will be made to owners of all full time Scottish registered fishing vessels of 12 metres length and under, many of whom operate in our island communities.

“I welcome this vital support and am also pleased that support is due to be developed for the onshore processing industry which is also widely affected due to the loss of trade and markets.

“I am pleased that there are plans to do more on this matter and particularly to try and create alternative markets.

“We can all assist with this by buying Scottish seafood and indeed buying locally for many essential things.

“Local businesses are already hugely supporting our communities by changing the way they operate and also offering delivery services.

“Working together we can get through this challenging period and I would urge everyone to buy locally when you can.”