Peterhead Fish Market was left empty on Wednesday but PPA says decision to boycott was an 'unfortunate' interruption to business

Peterhead Fish Market was left empty on Wednesday but PPA says decision to boycott was an ‘unfortunate’ interruption to business

Peterhead Fish Market was left empty on Wednesday last as fish buyers went ahead with a strike over the Peterhead Port Authority’s decision to prohibit the practice of bid-sharing.

At the end of December 2022, Peterhead Port Authority told fish buyers they would be bringing to an end the practice as of Wednesday 01 February 2023.

The Authority informed fish buyers that the decision was made after taking legal advice which confirmed the practice to be “anti-competitive and contrary to applicable competition law” citing “complaints about certain buying practices” being the root cause.

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Fish buyers reacted badly to the news and called on fishing vessels to cooperate with them and shun landing to the Peterhead Fish Markets on Wednesdays for the foreseeable future.

Although there was no fish on the fish market floor, PPA said that it was an unfortunate interruption of business but it is obliged to act as a responsible manager ensuring that best business and market practices are upheld.

It has been reported that the situation between the Peterhead Port Authority and the fish buyers has deteriorated with the Authority refusing to speak to the fish buyers.

The Fishing Daily contacted Peterhead Port Authority to comment on how they propose to do to address the situation.

Simon Brebner, Chief Executive at Peterhead Port Authority, which operates and manages the Peterhead Fish Market, said:

“It is unfortunate that there has been business interruption at our fish market on Wednesday, however as a Trust Port, we are duty bound to uphold the highest standards and guidance as outlined in the Scottish Governments Modern Trust Ports: A Guide to Good Governance document. We pride ourselves in being the first recipient of the Responsible Fishing Port Scheme, along with Marine Stewardship Council status.

“Our fish market – one of the largest in Europe – is certified to the highest standard of the British Retail Consortium Global Standards AA rating. Consequently, it is vitally important that we uphold best business and markets practises, adhere to such Guidance at Peterhead Fishmarket and make adjustments as necessary.

“We are working with all stakeholders to ensure this continues and in the meantime are fully committed to fulfilling all of our obligations as a responsible manager of this important facility.”

Speaking on the boycott by the fish buyers, Mike Park, CEO of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA) said:

“It’s not a boycott by the fishing vessels, it’s a boycott of the buyers now. Because of the uncertainty the boats are just not landing on the basis that there may not be any buying power.

“Our position is that both parties should get around the table, both the Authority and the buyers, and sort this out because no one is benefitting from the current situation.”

by Oliver McBride

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Peterhead Port Authority says Wednesday’s empty Fish Market ‘Unfortunate’

by editor time to read: 6 min