Scrap EU-Norway fish deal, says Scottish pelagic sector

REPRESENTATIVES of the Scottish Pelagic Processors Association are calling on the Scottish and UK governments to oppose an agreement which would allow Norway duty free exports of mackerel and herring to EU member countries.
The agreement between Norway and the EU, which is being publicly applauded by the Norwegian Seafood Alliance, Seafood Norway, and Norwegian Fisheries Minister, was reached earlier this month and reported on Fish Update last month. But is still to be ratified by the European parliament.
Ian McFadden, chairman of the SPPA, said: ‘Such a deal being sanctioned by the EU at this time would only serve to further undermine the Scottish mackerel industry.
‘It is totally inappropriate when traditional and important Scottish export markets such as Russia and Turkey are largely closed and Ukraine in a weakened state.
‘It is our understanding that despite these announcements from Norway the agreement is still to be ratified by EU member states and it must receive unanimous support in order for it to be passed by parliament.
‘We believe a number of member states have objected and have also highlighted the fact that they have not been engaged in these initial discussions.
‘We would strongly urge the Scottish and UK governments to oppose any such deal.’
The Scottish Pelagic Processors Association is a trade association which represents all the major Scottish pelagic processors and secondary processors. The association has a close working relationship with the majority of the UK pelagic fishermen.
Members of this trade association supply a wide range of mackerel products, from smoked and canned fish to UK retailers, wholesalers and fishmongers, to block frozen bulk packs supplied via reefers to major export customers.