Aquaculture for all

Brexit-based red tape costs Scotland's salmon sector millions

Fisheries Atlantic Salmon Open farming systems +7 more

Scotland’s salmon farming sector - which is responsible for the UK’s largest food export - has expressed frustration over ongoing red tape, which has now cost an estimated £12 million extra since Brexit.

Scotland's salmon sector is frustrated with policies costing the industry millions, offering to help inform new policies amidst the rise of international demand for salmon.

© Mowi

While international demand for salmon remains high, Salmon Scotland says measures to smooth trade flow and open new markets have remained “painfully slow” ahead of next week’s fourth anniversary of the UK's exit from the EU.

The trade body, which represents a sector worth £766 million-a-year to the UK economy, has been working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to get more traction on market access and procedures. However, chief executive Tavish Scott has raised the need for swifter government-wide action with the Scotland office, where ministers have actively and enthusiastically supported the sector’s sustainable growth.

Salmon Scotland also claims that one of the measures causing red tape for salmon farming companies is the lack of new eCertification for export health certificates (EHCs), and issues with the current outdated system.

They also note that salmon producers are willing to work with the UK Government to put in place any measures that make it easier to export their product to Europe and have claimed to have already piloted a successful electronic EHC system which shows what can be achieved.

Salmon Scotland has previously estimated that post-Brexit paperwork costs salmon farming companies in Scotland an extra £3 million a year since the UK formally left the EU.

Rising demand for Scottish salmon

With salmon increasingly popular in traditionally smaller European markets, such as the Netherlands and Spain, and soaring in demand in Asia, Salmon Scotland says smoother trade flow and new markets would open up the possibility of more investment in the Scottish economy and more highly-skilled Scottish jobs.

It was also highlighted that the export market alone involves annual salmon sales of around £600 million-a-year, and that salmon farming directly employs 2,500 people in Scotland, as well as provides a further 10,000 jobs which are dependent on the sector.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, stated in a press release: “Four years on since Brexit, our farmers continue to face excessive red tape, while progress at smoothing trade flow and opening new markets remains painfully slow.

“Defra ministers need to urgently prioritise the UK’s largest food export, and I will be enlisting further support from other parts of government. This in turn would generate millions of pounds for the Scottish and UK economies.”

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