The Scottish Government has published its response to the Scottish Nephrops Working Group report, which it commissioned to help the nephrops (langoustine) sector identify and deal with the challenges brought on from coronavirus and Brexit.
The Scottish Government welcomed sector improvements set out by the group, including market recovery and development, improving quality, efficiency, environmental sustainability, encouraging investment and innovation, and increasing information available across the supply chain.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, said:
“We look forward to supporting the recommendations for one of the most valuable stocks landed in Scotland, as part of the report’s alignment to the current Programme for Government commitments to support a sustainable seafood sector and recognising the vital importance of our blue economy. The delivery of a globally recognised premium product which is sustainably sourced, and delivers a valuable economic input to a future low carbon economy is of the utmost importance to us.
“While many of the recommendations in this report will be for industry to take forward through the programme board set up by the sector, we will play our part through our involvement in the board and the remaining funding which has been awarded “through Marine Fund Scotland.
“Around £800k has been awarded for this financial term to support the delivery of many of the recommendations in this report, including training for product quality improvement, projects for reducing waste, improving supply chain quality, and wider market research and analysis.
“To parallel this important work and address the impacts of Brexit, we are developing a new strategy for seafood to help revitalise the sector in line with a sustainable and natural capital approach. Our local food strategy consultation and the development of a “Sustainably Scottish” brand will help to support and grow Scottish seafood as a premium quality sustainable low-carbon food close to home as well as internationally.”
Uel Morton, Chair of the Scottish Nephrops Working Group said:
“We welcome the Government’s support in building a more sustainable future for nephrops which will benefit the catching and processing sector in the years to come. The Programme Board, aided by industry experts, has appointed a new Programme Manager who has joined the Seafood Scotland team. Matthew Hurst will co-ordinate the delivery of a number of separate workstreams, and ensure continued progress towards our long term goals.
“This work will have a positive impact not only in Scotland, but across the UK and in key overseas markets too. We are committed to making the Scottish langoustine sector a watchword for quality and excellence across the globe.”