The Scottish government has allocated £1 million funding to support the langoustine industry through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Langoustine (Nephrops) is Scotland’s second biggest seafood export, worth £80 million annually, but the government says it has been particularly badly impacted by Covid-19, with the loss of important domestic and export markets.
A new body, the Scottish Nephrops Working Group will investigate the scale of the challenges facing the sector and develop a long-term strategic vision to cement Scotland’s position as the global leader of high quality langoustine.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Nephrops are critically important to the future of our seafood sector and many coastal communities in Scotland, supporting thousands of local jobs and producing the finest prawns and langoustines in the world.
“They are Scotland’s second largest seafood export and the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant effect on the sector with markets remaining depressed and low prices throughout the supply chain. As a result, many businesses are struggling and operating on the edge of viability.
“The working group will provide valuable support to the future viability of the Nephrops sector in Scotland and the £1 million funding is a significant boost to get their work underway.”
Chair of the Scottish Nephrops Working Group Uel Morton commented: “The Scottish Nephrops Working Group will be critical to the sector’s future. The sector is one of the most fragile areas of Scotland’s economy, yet it delivers so much in terms of employment and exports.
“Although this group is focussed on the particular challenges facing the Nephrops sector, the recommendations from this group will also provide valuable lessons for the wider seafood industry in Scotland at this difficult time.”