Russia Ceases Fish Import Ban
Russia has ended a ban on Scottish seafood imports, boosting the region’s herring and mackerel industries. Last spring, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin enacted restrictions on pelagic fish from Britain after the murder of former agent Alexander Litvinenko.
In 2007, the U.K. exported more than 48,000 metric tons of pelagic fish, most of it from Scotland, worth in excess of £42million ($62 million USD), to Russia.
"This situation had been having a serious effect on Scottish companies since last April and I am pleased that this breakthrough can now be announced,” Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond today told the Aberdeen Press and Journal. "We have traditionally enjoyed an excellent trading relationship with Russia and I am confident this was simply a temporary blip. We have worked with the industry and all relevant authorities to ensure that the restrictions were removed.”
Ian Gatt, president of the Scottish Fishermen's Association, said the Russian market was crucial to the pelagic industry.
"Russia is by far the biggest market for mackerel and, if this issue wasn't sorted out, it would have a huge impact for fishermen," he said.
The ban is still in place for the rest of the U.K.