Salmon farmers raise Brexit fears

SSPO chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird

SCOTTISH salmon farmers have expressed concern over the latest parliamentary impasse on Brexit, with fears focused in particular on the linking of seafood exports to fishing quotas in any future deal.
Julie Hesketh-Laird, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: ‘The Scottish salmon farming industry is optimistic in the long term and sees a bright future ahead.
‘The EU is a big market for Scottish salmon, worth over £290 million annually, playing its part in fuelling increasing global demand for what has become a much sought after product.
‘A no-deal exit would cause immediate problems for the Scottish farmed salmon sector, including tariffs for product being exported to European markets and the very real threat of logistical delays of getting salmon into the EU.
‘For hauliers carrying perishable goods such as fresh fish, this is obviously more of a risk than for other carriers.
‘There is still confusion over how many certificates will be required, who can issue them and even if there will be a temporary grace period when the certificates won’t be needed.
‘Nobody knows the answers to this one either but, as the clock ticks down towards March 29, this is obviously another area of concern.
‘The current Withdrawal Deal poses problems as it couples all seafood exports to Europe with access to North Sea fishing grounds and caught fish quotas.
‘We believe salmon exports should continue, regardless of discussions over quotas and fishing grounds, and we will be arguing for that to continue.
‘The SSPO is watching parliamentary developments closely and working with both the Scottish and Westminster governments to try to ease the pressure on any potential pinch points.’
Picture: SSPO CEO Juli Hesketh-Laird


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