The oncoming trade war with the European Union could wreck the Scottish salmon industry.
That's the fear of Salmon Scotland, the body which represents the whole sector.
Such a trade war with the EU could have a devastating impact on Britain’s export market, they say.
The UK Government wants to unilaterally scrap the Northern Ireland protocol on trade which it agreed as part of the Brexit deal. It recently scrapped plans for extensive customs and quality checks on goods entering the UK which were also part of the deal.
Scottish salmon is the UK’s biggest fresh food export, with sales of £372million to EU countries last year – accounting for 61 per cent of global Scottish salmon exports.
This supports thousands of jobs in rural Scotland. Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:
“As the political rhetoric ramps up, the wider interests of all exporters to continental Europe are not being considered.
“A trade war should be avoided at all costs.
“Like many sectors, our members have spent months addressing the challenges of Brexit, including the extra paperwork required.
“That hard work by Scottish farmers must not be jeopardised.
“As demand for our world-renowned Scottish salmon continues to soar, we urge the UK Government to navigate a way through this that doesn’t harm vital trade deals.”
Fresh salmon accounts for more than £500 million worth of fish sales across the UK retail market annually. This represents 48 per cent of the overall fish market, making it the most valuable single product in this category. The product is also exported to more than 50 countries.
The salmon sector adds more than £640 million to the economy every year. At the same time, it spends £370 million, supporting over 3,600 suppliers across Scotland. More than 2,500 people are directly employed in salmon farming throughout the country.
The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) changed its name to Salmon Scotland on November 1, 2021.