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Scottish Seafood Summit: Will she? Won't she? Brexit debacle puts strain on UK seafood

The focus of the inaugural Scottish Seafood Summit, organised by Seafish, is on the impact of the UK leaving the EU, which was due to take place this week, on March 29... but isn't anymore. Keep checking back for updates.

Wednesday March 27, 2.50 pm GMT

UK processors still ‘heavily reliant’ on EU workforce

Seafish’s most up to date annual survey on employment in the processing sector in 2018 – which surveyed 11,000 workers – found that at least 51 percent were EU nationals.

“So it is clear the processing sector in the United Kingdom remains heavily reliant on EU workforce, particularly those from Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria,” said Lewis Cowie, economics researcher with Seafish.

Scotland was particularly reliant on workers from the EU, the study found, with around... read the full story here.

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Wednesday March 27, 2.50 pm GMT

Seafish launches first-of-its-kind trade and tariff online data tool

Trade body Seafish is launching an online seafood trade and tariff database to assist seafood importers and exporters in the UK as they navigate issues from Brexit and beyond.

The Seafish Trade and Tariff Tool allows users to access historical trade data from 2010 to 2018 and current UK tariff data, giving them an overview of seafood markets... read more about it here.

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Wednesday March 27, 2.07 pm GMT

SWFPA calls for more inclusive fisheries management

Mike Park, CEO of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA) is calling for a more inclusive system of fisheries governance post-Brexit, as opposed to the current “dictatorial and paternalistic” EU system.

Setting out what the association is hoping to get out of Brexit, one of the key hope is for a new fisheries governance system whereby the fishermen are “bolted in at every level,” said Park.

“I’ve operated in an EU fisheries governance system for 25 years that is dictatorial and paternalistic,” he said. “We want a new one that is more inclusive and in which the industry is bolted in at every level.”

Park is looking for a system which has more of regional management approach as “not one size or approach fits all”, as well as one which favors equivalence over standardization, and “carrot over stick”.

“We hope for a system of co-management over paternalism,” he said.

In addition, Park said due to the way current quotas are shared, UK fishermen within the United Kingdom EEZ are missing out on around £850 million a year in additional revenue to vessels from EU, the Faroe Islands and Norway.

“We are just after a bigger share of what’s available,” said Park, adding he is hoping Brexit will deliver new fixed shares for key commercial species by 2025 and on all TAC species by 2027.

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Wednesday March 27, 1.38 pm GMT

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Wednesday March 27, 12.00 pm GMT

Processing sector needs the EU workforce

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Wednesday March 27, 11.33 am GMT

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Wednesday March 27, 11.02 am GMT

Scottish Minister: No-deal Brexit will have ‘severe and disproportionate’ adverse impact

Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, is warning a no-deal Brexit would have “severe and disproportionate adverse effects” on several Scotland’s industries, including seafood.

While accepting Brexit could present some opportunities, there are also many potential challenges to overcome, but at the moment, noone can be absolutely certain how it will unfold.

Ewing also said it was important to continue to promote the importance of the Scottish seafood sector and is pressing the UK government to support its efforts to reduce the need for export health certificates, remove barriers on using ferries to transport seafood and prioritize seafood lorries through Dover.

However, Ewing said he recently had frustrating conversations with Michael Gove on this topic, who is refusing to prioritize these issues... read more here.

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Wednesday March 27, 9.50 am GMT

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Tuesday March 26, 5.38 pm GMT

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Tuesday March 26, 4.49 pm GMT

Proposed 'no deal' tariffs are a mixed bag for UK seafood importers

The UK’s latest proposed tariffs for seafood imports in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit will see mixed reaction from importers, but the vast majority should be “happy”, according to Ivan Bartolo, regulatory affairs advisor at Seafish.

Particularly those who import shrimp that goes through Europe for processing, regardless of where it was farmed, are set to be “hard hit" by the tariffs... read the full story here.

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Tuesday March 26, 3.02 pm GMT

Most seafood imports likely to get 0% tariffs...but warmwater shrimp, monkfish lose out

The UK revealed the latest tariffs it will impose on seafood imports post-Brexit on March 13. For most species it's looking OK. Here they are:

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Tuesday March 26, 2.49 pm GMT

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Tuesday March 26, 2.00 pm GMT

Responding to the ever changing landscape

Welcome to sunny Aberdeen, and to where the inaugural Scottish Seafood Summit -- sister event to the UK Seafood Summit -- is kicking off today with a focus heavily on Brexit and the implications the United Kingdom leaving the European Union will have on the fishing and seafood industries.

Purposefully planned to be held in the same week as Brexit was due to officially happen on March 29, this is now -- perhaps unsurprisingly -- not going to happen.

UK Seafood Summit: Is there a hidden hard Brexit waiting for seafood?

Read more

With UK politicians failing to reach any kind of agreement on moving forward, the EU has now agreed to postpone this date, leaving two new important dates to keep in mind: April 12 and May 22.

If Theresa May can get her withdrawal deal through Parliament this week -- which is not looking likely -- the departure date will be pushed back to May 22 to give time to pass the necessary legislation.

But if the Prime Minister can't get the deal through, the UK will have to propose a new way forward to the EU by April 12.

Nevertheless, the Scottish Seafood Summit will be focused on the looming exit from the EU and the impact it will have on the seafood industry with regards to the changing political, economic and regulatory landscapes.

The event is designed to provide a platform for sharing insights, discussion and debate on all these issues affecting the seafood industry.

According to Seafish, more than 100 delegates are due to attend, representing key opinion makers from the catching, food processing, and food service sectors.

And there is a line-up of speakers from trade, industry and science who will all focus on the challenges arising from the UK’s exit from the EU and offer stakeholders the knowledge to respond to the changing landscape.

Some themes explored throughout the summit include:

  • Setting the scene: EU exit status update and macro implications
  • Our changing trading relationship with the EU and beyond
  • Access to our fisheries resources post EU exit – implications for UK supply; and
  • Labor constraints: EU exit and our changing immigration status – what are the options for Scottish seafood business?

Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker of the event.

Other speakers include Richard Barnes from the University of Hull, who will explore marine resources, while Allan Gibb from Marine Scotland will give an overview of the regulatory and management changes as Scotland leaves the common fisheries policy (CFP).

Mike Park, from the Scottish White Fish Producers Association will give an industry perspective on the potential resource implications that post EU Exit regulatory changes will bring and what this will mean for the Scottish/UK catching sector and the wider supply chain, and Graham Young, from Scotland Food and Drink will discuss the opportunities in a changing world.

Meanwhile, Darren Stevenson from McGill & Partners Immigration Lawyers, will be focusing on the immigration constraints and what it means for seafood businesses and Colin Faulkner from Defra who will talk about the new dynamic in trade agreements post EU exit.

The two-day Summit opens Tuesday March 26 with an afternoon seminar exploring exports, followed by a Seafood Fayre showcasing seafood from around the UK paired with local produce. The main conference takes place the following day on Wednesday March 27.

Keep checking back here to stay up-to-date with what's being discussed.

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