Scottish langoustine sector granted new COVID support

Published on
November 9, 2020

A new resilience group is to receive GBP 1 million (USD 1.3 million, EUR 1.1 million) in funding to support Scotland’s langoustine (nephrops) sector through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish government has confirmed.

With the sector hard hit by COVID-19, particularly the loss of important domestic and export markets, and also faced with considerable uncertainty about the post-Brexit landscape, the Scottish Nephrops Working Group will investigate the scale of the challenges, and develop a long-term strategic vision.

According to its Chair Uel Morton, the new 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,” Morton said. “Although this group is focused 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.”

Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said the working group would provide valuable support to the future viability of the sector and that the funding was a significant boost to get its work underway.

“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,” Ewing said. “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.”

Scotland’s nephrops fleet comprises 450 vessels, with the total catch valued at around GBP 80 million (USD 105.1 million, EUR 88.4 million), making it the second highest value seafood product in Scotland. The country’s total direct, indirect, and induced employment generated from the catching and primary processing of nephrops is estimated at 2,077 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts.

Photo courtesy of Eddie Jordan Photos/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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