The seventh meeting of the Scottish Seafood Exports Taskforce between key fishing industry figures and government has helped cut EU red tape
Progress is being made to improve export systems for Scottish seafood, a meeting between industry and government has heard.
Discussions took place during the seventh meeting of the Scottish seafood exports taskforce, which brings together key industry figures from the fishing industry with officials and senior politicians from the UK Government and Scottish Government.
UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid chaired the meeting and said the taskforce had tackled problems which affected the seafood sector since Britain’s exit from the EU, many relating to paperwork now required by the EU.
Following the meeting, Minister Duguid said:
“This taskforce has been unusual as it has brought together industry experts from the catching, processing, exporting and aquaculture sectors as well as three ministers from the UK Government and the Scottish Government.
“Rapid progress has been made in a variety of areas through this taskforce. In particular, we have considerably cut the amount of time staff spend filling in details on Export Health Certificates, helping speed time-critical exports of our world-class seafood.
“Although the taskforce has a fixed lifespan, we are looking at how we can continue this important dialogue.
“We want to maintain close contacts, though we appreciate people in the industry are busy. I am confident we can reach accord on ongoing discussions as we seek to maximise the opportunities for our key seafood sector.”
The taskforce, which grew from extensive consultation with the industry throughout Britain’s EU transition period and after our exit on 1 January, will meet for one final time in the coming weeks.
The Scottish Seafood Exports Taskforce, hosted by the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland, emerged from ongoing consultation with the seafood and aquaculture industry. While background work takes place more frequently, the taskforce convenes formally fortnightly.
The remit is to be an overarching body delivering action on medium to long-term issues for the industry, and to complement Government engagement with the sector with the aim of increasing confidence in the seafood and aquaculture supply chains.
The taskforce brings together UK Government officials and ministers with key industry figures. The Scottish Government is represented at official and ministerial levels.
The taskforce has a core membership drawn from the catching, processing, exporting and aquaculture sections of industry and can invite industry experts and specialists to join on an ad hoc basis.