Scottish Salmon Industry, Fisheries Hit By Volcano

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
23 April 2010, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - The impacts of travel disruption resulting from the eruption of the Icelandic volcano has hit salmon farming and fisheries.

Businesses are counting the cost of the volcanic ash cloud after the disruption to flights grounded salmon exports, forced French fashion designers to cancel meetings with Scottish suppliers and even dented sales of shortbread at airports, according to Aberdeen's Press and Journal.

Aberdeen fish processor, Andrew Charles, had to send staff home because he could not fly supplies overseas and still had consignments of salmon steadily losing their value at Heathrow on 21 April.

When the fish does finally get to the US it will have to be sold frozen, rather than fresh, at a considerably lower price.

Mr Charles, who owns J. Charles, of Torry, said the closure of UK airspace after the volcanic eruption in Iceland had been "very stressful" for firms like his.

He said: "Our industry is facing enough pressure as it is, through a lack of government support and the high price of fish, so for something like this to come along isn't very helpful. I know there has been criticism of the decision to ground flights, so I hope it turns out to have been necessary.”

Even suppliers who do most of their trade by road and sea have been noticing a knock-on effect, with more competition for space on lorries and ferries. Scottish Fishermen's Federation chief executive, Bertie Armstrong, said busier roads and hold-ups at ports were causing headaches for suppliers.