Seafood firms hit by post-Brexit border delays have been invited to apply for government compensation.
The transport of fresh fish and seafood to the continent has been severely disrupted by new customs checks and paperwork since the transition period ended last month.
Industry insiders have estimated the delays are costing the sector more than £1 million a day.
In response, the UK Government launched a £23 million support scheme on Tuesday – with each business able to bid for a maximum of £100,000 compensation.
The fund will be paid retrospectively to cover losses incurred between January 1 and 31.
Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said: “Seafood exporting businesses across the UK can apply from today for support from this £23 million scheme, reflecting the unique challenges faced by the sector.
“We will continue to work closely with the fisheries and seafood industry through our Seafood Exports Working Group to troubleshoot any issues that cause delays to the export of these highly perishable goods.”
The package has been criticised by industry leaders, however, who have said it does not go far enough.
James Withers, chief executive at industry body Scotland Food and Drink, told MPs: “It’s a sticking plaster at best; the seafood business has been losing about £1 million a day in sales.”
The announcement comes after Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael called on Environment Secretary George Eustice to resign over the export fiasco.
He said: “The seafood industries can no longer have confidence in anything he says. Problems that he and the prime minister created were initially dismissed as ‘teething problems’ but now are shown to be part of what the government has negotiated for us.
“Government failures have left shellfish exporters picking up a hefty tab.
“It seems that George Eustice has no solutions left to offer. He should step aside and let somebody else fix this mess. It is difficult to see how he can remain in his job after this fiasco.”