Fergus Ewing MSP and Scottish Fisheries Secretary, has announced that a package of support to assist Scotland’s crab export market has been unveiled.

This follows the loss of market access to China after the Chinese Government increased control measures for the import of live brown crab due to on-going concerns about the levels of cadmium, a contaminant found in the crab.

The UK accounts for 90% of live brown crab imports to China and 50% of these are from Scotland – totalling £16 million a year.

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said “With the Chinese Government increasing its control measures around the import of live brown crab, the sector is reaching a critical situation.

“We are working closely with the UK Government to find a resolution with the Chinese Government, but it is a complex situation that is taking time to resolve.

“Following consultation with key stakeholders and our enterprise agencies, I am unveiling a package of measures to support this vital coastal industry to seek alternative markets.

“This includes providing funding for businesses to attend key international trade shows, access to a bespoke ‘showcasing Scotland’ space at these shows, and the facilitation of meet the buyer events, including supporting an inward mission to Scotland for international buyers. The aim is to create more export opportunities to more countries.

“Many of the affected businesses diversified into the Chinese market due to the uncertainties around Brexit and future access to the EU market. It is only right therefore that we seek to support them through this very challenging time, as we continue to work to find a resolution.”


Chinese standards and testing regime differs from the EU regulations. EU regulations only cover ‘white meat’ which is the main edible element for consumers – however the law in China covers all edible parts including brown meat which contains higher levels of cadmium.

Source: Fergus Ewing, MSP, SNP – Press Release

Fisheries Secretary Announces Supports for Scottish Crab Industry

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