From lorries filled with langoustines stuck at the ports before Christmas, to Nicola Sturgeon accusing the UK Government of “selling out” the industry, it’s been a rocky few months for Scottish fishing; and that’s without mentioning the Covid pandemic.
Brexit has arguably not been kind to Scotland’s fishing industry, but why exactly is this and what are the long lasting impacts?
Why has Scottish fishing been impacted negatively by Brexit?
Prior to the Brexit coming into effect, between 2016 and 2019 three quarters of all Scotland’s seafood exports went to the EU, amassing to up to £700 million in sales.
However, since we formally left the EU, exporting seafood to the continent has become much harder.
The UK is no longer within the EU’s customs union, meaning there are now more checks carried out on the lorries entering the EU, which can cause extensive delays.
Further adding to delays are problems with documentation, which is complex and takes a long time to fill out – one delivery can require up to 80 pages compared to the simple one page delivery note and invoice that went with shippings pre-Brexit.
Any delay is not good news for seafood, but particularly shellfish like lobsters, prawns and crabs which perish quickly; delays of up to 30-hours have meant that thousands of pounds worth of stock has had to be discarded, costing businesses extortionate amounts of money.
Ultimately it means that sending seafood to the EU is now much more expensive and that for many businesses, sales and profits are in decline.
Why does it cost so much more to ship fish to the EU now? . . . .
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