Grimsby fish processors welcome levy cut proposal –

Grimsby fish processors welcome levy cut proposal Published:  13 August, 2013

The Humber fish processing industry – the largest in Britain –  has openly welcomed a signal from Seafish that it is ready to cut the levy on white fish by ten per cent.

The industry watchdog has conducted a full financial assessment which would allow it to accept a drop in income – estimated at around £800,000 – without any significant reduction in service.  The industry is now being consulted on the proposal which is certain to meet with wholehearted approval from the sector. It is estimated that the Humber processors will benefit by up to £300,000 a year.

Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, told Fishupdate: “This move by Seafish is to be welcomed. I am optimistic that it will go through when the consultation period is over. 

“I know that Seafish have been looking at this proposal for a while and have seen the need for a review. Ideally we would like to see one levy right across the board.”

He added: “We believe the levy should also take in farmed fish, but there would first have to be a separate act of Parliament to include aquaculture. Realistically, there will not be enough parliamentary time between  now the general election, so we shall have to wait until after 2015 for that to be brought in.”

He said the 10 per cent reduction would be a big help to the industry at a difficult time, especially when other costs such as fuel, water and transport kept going up.

“Obviously the bigger the buyer of fish, the more they will save. I do hope that all our members and everyone will respond to the Seafish survey. This does show that Seafish is in tune with the needs of the industry and that they have been listening to us.”  

The deadline for responding to the levy reduction proposals is midnight on Friday 6 September 2013.