John Holmyard of Offshore Shellfish in Devon talks about the impact of the EU’s ban on the imports of LBMs from UK waters
Yesterday saw the launch of the seafood and meat exports to the EU report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
One of the issues Examined by the committee was the export of Live bivalve valve molluscs from Class B waters in the UK.
Since 01 January 2021, UK producers of LBMs in class B & C waters have been unable to export their product to their traditional EU markets due to the EU Commissions decision that they do not accept LBMs harvested from class b or c waters in third countries. Since the UK has left the EU, it is now a third country, and the EU is applying this rule to its LBMs.
In September 2019, Defra told the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, who in turn told their members that LBMs harvested from aquaculture in “class B and class C waters would still be able to be exported to the EU.
After the EU ban came into place, the Secretary for State George Eustice claimed the EU had reneged on a gentleman’s agreement which would allow the UK to continue imports as normal but at the beginning of March it was revealed in a letter to MPs that Mr Eustice had been aware of the ban as far back as 10 December 2020.
What is the truth?
That is yet to be uncovered, but what about those affected by the ban?
The Fishing Daily spoke to John Holmyard, Managing Director from Offshore Shellfish, which is a family run business which has been involved in the seafood industry for more than 25 years. Offshore shellfish are building the UK’s first large scale, fully offshore rope cultured mussel farm Off the South Coast of Devon but are experiencing the sharp end of Brexit.