Retailers urged to source local seafood –

Retailers urged to source local seafood Published:  28 February, 2013

Scottish retailers have been urged to support locally sourced seafood, in recognition of its high quality and the contribution fishing makes to the Scottish economy.

That was the message from Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead at Wednesday’s meeting of the Scottish Grocery Retailers’ Forum.

At the same meeting, retailers, the seafood industry and Scottish Government pledged to work together to address concerns about mackerel sustainability.

And the retailers added their backing to  Mr Lochhead’s call for an impartial mediator to focus on finding a solution that supports sustainable fishing for years to come.

They also agreed to continue to stock mackerel until further evidence on the position of the stock is available in September and to contribute to efforts to promote sustainable fish consumption of different kinds of fish.

Mr Lochhead said: “In Scotland, we are fortunate to have some of the finest natural ingredients on our doorstep, including magnificent seafood and it’s vital consumers have access to this in our shops.

“The agreement reached at the Scottish Grocery Retailers’ Forum today will see all the industry and retailers work together to promote seafood and drive up sales while also promoting the complex messages about sustainability of fish stocks.

“I’m clear that the unilateral quota setting by Iceland and the Faroes is unsustainable – it risks damaging both the long term health of our fish stocks and, in the short term, mackerel’s reputation as a sustainable choice.

“It is vital that Europe sticks to its pledge to bring forward sanctions to help persuade Iceland and Faroes to come back to the table. That’s why I’ve called for an impartial mediator to focus on finding a solution – and I’m pleased the retailers have backed this call.

“Fishing has been part of Scotland’s life for generation and I’m determined to ensure that it remains so in future which is why I’m pleased that the retailers are backing our action to tackle unsustainable fishing.”

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Scottish Retail Consortium, British Retail Consortium, Scottish Seafood and grocery retailers.