The Dutch authorities are reported to be looking at the possibilities of a buyout programme for fishing businesses

The Dutch government is reported to be working with fishermen and industry bodies to examine the options for a transition fund able to buy out fishing business, leaving those remaining better able to continue.

The fleet being examined is the approximately 130 vessels that concentrate on North Sea sole and plaice as their primary target species.

The fleet sector has had to cope with the European prohibition on pulse fishing that is being phased in, the massive growth in the wind energy sector that has placed large areas of the North Sea out of reach for fishing vessels, as well as the possibility of a No-Deal Brexit and the uncertainty that goes with it.

A further factor is that the younger generation is less inclined to see fishing as a career, so there is no clear succession within many fishing families and crews are likewise becoming increasingly hard to find.