£1 million has been granted to the Scottish Nephrops Working Group to investigate the scale of challenges facing the sector
A new resilience group has been granted £1 million funding to support the Langoustine (Nephrops) sector through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Scottish Nephrops Working Group will investigate the scale of the challenges facing the sector and develop a long-term strategic vision to cement Scotland’s position as the global leader of high quality Langoustine.
The Langoustine (Nephrops) sector in Scotland has been particularly badly impacted by COVID-19, with the loss of important domestic and export markets.
These challenges have been further exacerbated by the lack of clarity regarding Brexit given that Langoustine is the most important shellfish species in terms of landed value and socio-economic importance to Scottish coastal communities and the wider supply chain.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“Nephrops are critically important to the future of our seafood sector and many coastal communities in Scotland, supporting thousands of local jobs and producing the finest prawns and langoustines in the world.
“They are Scotland’s second largest seafood export and the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant effect on the sector with markets remaining depressed and low prices throughout the supply chain. As a result, many businesses are struggling and operating on the edge of viability.
“The working group will provide valuable support to the future viability of the Nephrops sector in Scotland and the £1 million funding is a significant boost to get their work underway.”
Chair of the Scottish Nephrops Working Group Uel Morton said:
“The Scottish Nephrops Working Group will be critical to the sectors future.
“The sector is one of the most fragile areas of Scotland’s economy, yet it delivers so much in terms of employment and exports.
“Although this group is focussed on the particular challenges facing the Nephrops sector, the recommendations from this group will also provide valuable lessons for the wider seafood industry in Scotland at this difficult time.”
The Scottish Nephrops Working Group is expected to oversee the implementation and progress of the new strategy over the next two years.
The Scottish Nephrops fleet is 450 vessels. The value of Scottish Nephrops is approximately £80 million – the second highest value seafood product in Scotland.
The economic value of the Nephrops industry to Scotland can be indicated through two measures: Gross Value Added (GVA) and employment. The direct GVA generated by the nephrops fleet and related processing amounts to an estimated £36.8 million.
Total direct, indirect, and induced employment generated from catching and primary processing of nephrops in Scotland is estimated to be 2,077 full time equivalent (FTE) posts.