PROTECTING SCOTLAND’S SEAFOOD SECTOR
Protecting Scotland’s Seafood Sector. Critical amendments must be made to the UK Fisheries Bill to ensure that it protects and supports Scotland’s seafood sector in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the challenges of Brexit, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has said.
Ahead of its reading in the House of Lords on June 22, Mr Ewing has proposed changes to the Bill that would help non-departmental public body, Seafish, better support the Scottish seafood industry.
The proposed changes to Seafish’s functions would give the Scottish industry a greater say in how the levy it pays is deployed in Scotland, including for the marketing and promoting of Scottish seafood. The amendments would also give Seafish more flexibility to market and promote Scottish seafood both domestically and across the world.
Mr Ewing said:
“I recognise that Seafish is already doing good work for the industry but these amendments will enhance its role in Scotland while giving seafood businesses in Scotland more influence on how the levy it pays is used.
“Around 90% of the levy currently collected from Scotland stems from fish caught in our waters which is the polar opposite of levy collected in England where 90% comes from imported fish. Scotland therefore has different needs and the industry has an increasing desire to develop a distinct Scottish brand and market, and promote this in the same way as other Scottish sectors successfully do for produce like beef and lamb.
“The changes we are proposing will also support the Scottish seafood sector regain a foothold in markets that have been lost through COVID-19 and in exploiting new markets in the future.”
The UK Fisheries Bill, sets the legal framework for the UK to operate as an independent coastal state.
A full list of the amendments is available.