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Scottish Salmon On Shelves In China

Salmonids Marketing Economics +3 more

SCOTLAND, UK - Shoppers in China can now buy Scottish farmed salmon for the first time.

Marine Harvest Scotland said yesterday it had become the first company based north of the border to deliver the product to the country.

The firm had been examining the potential of the Chinese market for some time and, in close co-operation with the Marine Harvest China office, ensured that it was in a position to supply this month.

Marine Harvest Scotland account manager Madeleine Easson said: “This is a historic moment for Scottish farmed salmon. We’re delighted to be selling Scottish farmed salmon in China and it’s likely to prove popular in a country where fish is seen as a greater delicacy than meat and poultry.

“We know the Chinese eat a large proportion of fish in their diet and Scottish farmed salmon is renowned for its taste and quality.

“We believe that the sales made this month are the first of many shipments to China and the start of a long-term trading opportunity.”

Marine Harvest Scotland is currently identifying sites to develop open sea-fish farming to increase capacity and meet growing demand for its product.

The Press and Journal reported earlier this month that the Scottish Government had struck a deal clearing the way for the export of salmon worth hundreds of millions of pounds to China.

Officials in China had agreed to grant a special permit allowing fish farmed in Scotland to be sold in China for the first time.

Scottish producers already export salmon and smoked salmon worth £1billion every year, but it is hoped that new jobs can be created as the “king of fishes” finally makes its way to plates in the world’s most populated nation.

Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said at the time: “This is a very welcome announcement from China that will boost sales of a top-quality and sought-after Scottish seafood product.

“It provides a major boost for a crucial Scottish industry, strengthening efforts both to increase exports in a key market and to secure jobs across Scotland.

“It will further strengthen an already successful business sector which has positively weathered the economic downturn.

“Last year alone, 234 jobs were created in the salmon industry and £29.5million of capital was invested in 2009.”

Scottish salmon is mainly farmed in clear waters off the west coast and northern isles, and the industry supports thousands of jobs in places including Orkney, Shetland, Ullapool, Fort William, Nairn, Benbecula, Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

New figures to October 2010 showed that global exports of Scottish farmed salmon increased by almost 10 per cent in the past year, from 55,231 tonnes in 2009 to 60,599 tonnes.