Pelagic group warns against duty-free seafood ruling
The Scottish Pelagic Processors Association (SPPA) has called on the Scottish and U.K. Governments to oppose an agreement that would allow Norway duty-free exports of mackerel and herring to EU member countries.
The agreement between Norway and the EU, which has been applauded by the Norwegian Seafood Alliance, Seafood Norway, and Norwegian Fisheries Minister, was reached earlier this month but is still to be ratified by the European Parliament.
“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 is in a weakened state,” said Ian McFadden, chairman of the SPPA.
“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 U.K. governments to oppose any such deal.”
With landings worth around GBP 90 million (EUR 127.9 million; USD 140.3 million) annually, mackerel is the most valuable species for the Scottish fishing fleet.