Scotland’s seafood sector can position itself as a world leading provider thanks to its premium quality products, according to the Rural Affairs Secretary.
Richard Lochhead announced £700,000 in Scottish Government funding to back an industry action plan to achieve a more profitable and sustainable seafood sector on Tuesday, February 25.
The report from the Scottish Seafood Partnership, which brings together representatives from the fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors, has identified six key areas to further enhance the industry’s reputation and market reach including: quality, standards and provenance; market development; potential for growth; collaboration and effective supply chains; skilled workforce; financial and legal relationships as well as forecasting and horizon scanning.
Mr Lochhead said: “Scotland’s seafood sector is already one of our great strengths and Scottish seafood has already achieved much in buliding its reputation as a product renowned the world over for its pristine quality.
“I’m fully behind the industry as a whole to take these actions forward, and to that end I am pleased to confirm Government investment between now and March 2015 to underpin this plan which places seafood firmly where it belongs - as an integral and central part of the success story which is Scotland’s food and drink sector.
“I’m confident it will build on this strong base to achieve an ever more sustainable and profitable seafood sector.”
Mr Lochhead added: “Seafood is a huge economic driver of the North-east of Scotland and the fishermen here land top quality produce which is recognised for its excellence around the world.”
Iain MacSween, chair of the Scottish Seafood Partnership said: “The Scottish seafood sector is delighted that our Food Minister Richard Lochhead is commiting to a plan which we believe strengthens the future, and the potential, of one of Scotland’s oldest industries.
“The successful implementation of the recommendations in this report are so important to the entire seafood supply chain and we now have the opportunity to work together and push this crucial industry forward.”