Baron Shellfish Ltd, a lobster exporter based in Bridlington has been forced into closure due to Brexit red-tape
Baron Shellfish Limited, a shellfish exporter based in Bridlington, North Yorkshire has been forced to close its doors after 40 years of exporting lobsters and crabs to the Continent.
Baron Shellfish was the owner of the first lobster tank business in Europe’s largest shellfish port but has been forced to close due to the current export crisis the UK seafood industry has been facing accessing their markets in the EU.
The sad news of the closure was announced by Sam Baron at the weekend and brings to an end four decades of the Baron family’s operation in Bridlington. The family tank business was set-up by Sam Baron’s father, who he worked alongside as a schoolboy, establishing the first lobster tank business from scratch in the east coast port.
Mr Baron alluded that the closure was down to Brexit and industry experts believe Baron Shellfish Ltd is the first business from the industry that has found itself taking this drastic action.
Many fishers and seafood businesses have been unable to export to the EU since catch certificates, health checks and customs declarations were introduced at the start of this year, delaying their deliveries and prompting European buyers to reject their produce. This has led the UK seafood industry to lose tens-of-millions since 01 January this year.
In his notification of closure, Mr Baron wrote:
“With deep sadness in my heart I write to you today to inform you that I’ve had to let my business head overrule my heart and bring Baron Shellfish Limited to closure.
“As working alongside my late father as a schoolboy to set up the 1st lobster tank business from scratch In our home Port of Bridlington and there after seeing Bridlington Harbour thrive and become the biggest shellfish port in the United Kingdom.
“Many years ago we decided to take total advantage of the common market and Increase our business by selling direct to customers in the EU.
“This meant we could competitively buy from our fellow merchants at Bridlington And the Local vivier boats, making us more of dispatch centre to the EU, which in turn meant the costing of conditioning, grading, packaging costs etc, were kept in the UK as you can appreciate this meant more of the revenue created by the live lobsters stayed in the UK.
“At this time, we would like to thank all our customers and all those who have helped us through the years for their support.”