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  • Seafood Scotland launches seafood art competition in Scottish schools

    SFS has teamed up with organisers of the 6th World Fisheries Congress to offer an exciting competition that encourages school children to learn more about the relationship between scientists and fisheries, and how this helps to protect the marine ecosystem.  

                       sEAFOOD AS CONTEXT LOGO

    Pupils of high schools and primary schools taking part in Seafood Scotland’s ‘Seafood in Schools’ pilot project, are being asked to design a t-shirt for delegates at the Congress, which will be held in Edinburgh in May 2012. The design must illustrate the association between seafood and science.

    Prizes for the competition are sponsored by Seafish and include £1000 worth of science equipment for the winning high school and £500 of equipment for the winning primary school.   The pupil responsible for the overall winning design will receive a presentation t-shirt at the Congress, followed by a VIP visit to Deep Sea World at South Queensferry.   A runner-up will be presented with their own design on a t-shirt and also visit the aquarium.

    Jon Harman, Seafish Director of Development said: “Seafish is committed to improving awareness and understanding about the importance of the seafood industry amongst all consumers, young and old. This competition is a creative, innovative way of encouraging school children to get excited about fisheries and science, so we are delighted to offer our support. This is a great way to make learning fun, and to ensure that the pupils gain a sense of how science is being applied in real life to protect our marine ecosystem for the future.”

    The winning pupil’s school will receive a visit and lecture from marine expert Professor Mike Kaiser of Bangor University, and Vice-President of the World Fisheries Congress. “We’re excited about working with Seafood Scotland to help children understand the important role of a healthy and biodiverse marine environment in providing the fish we love to eat. Education is a key tool in helping us achieve sustainable use of our seas,” he said.

    Libby Woodhatch, CEO of Seafood Scotland said: “We are pleased to work with Professor Kaiser and his team on this competition. The design brief asks pupils to show an understanding of the need for marine and freshwater fisheries and aquaculture to feed the world, and to demonstrate the link between science and fisheries. Investigating this will give them a greater insight into the issue of sustainable seafood, which is one of the main aims of our Seafood in Schools programme. We look forward to seeing a high calibre of entries and have already had indication from a number of schools that they will encourage pupils to enter.”

    For more information about the competition and details of how to enter please download the document here:pdfCompetition Flyer.pdf 

  • Hawick school pupils enjoy 2-day ‘sea to plate’ seafood experience!

    Seafood Scotland’s ‘Seafood in Schools’ project landed in Hawick last week, in the Scottish Borders, to teach first year pupils from Hawick High School, plus year six pupils from nine local primary schools about the Scottish industry.

    Together with industry partners and teachers, Seafood Scotland delivered four workshop sessions, which aimed to give children and their teachers a better understanding of ‘where seafood comes from’, ‘how it gets to our plates’, and ‘why eating seafood is good for our health’.

    Stephen Thomson of J K Thomson and Louise MacDonald from Hawick Sainsbury's demonstrated filleting techniques and spoke to the children about preparing seafood. Sandy Ritchie of the Anglo Scottish Fish Producers’ Organisation cooked langoustines for everyone to try and told pupils how fishermen live and work at sea. The children were amazed to find that langoustine tails are normally served in breadcrumbs as scampi!

    A wonderful fresh seafood display, donated by fish wholesalers J K Thomson of Musselburgh, Welsh’s fishmonger in Edinburgh and the Scottish Salmon Company, allowed pupils to see and touch a wide range of fresh whole species, including cod, haddock and saithe, mackerel and herring, trout and salmon, crab and langoustine, oysters, mussels and scallops. A large monkfish, complete with huge jaw and sharp teeth and a 3ft long squid provided the ‘wow’ factor.

    Catriona Frankitti, coordinator of the Seafood in Schools project, delivered a ‘come dine with me’ workshop, encouraging pupils to try a range of seafood donated by industry, including local smoked salmon and trout, mussels, smoked mackerel, herring, sprats and crab pate. Catriona also emphasized the health aspects of seafood consumption and the importance that Omega 3 plays in the diet.

    Geography and Home Economics teachers provided the remaining workshop, looking at imports and exports, food miles, and the differences between fish from freshwater and salt water.

    All pupils are following up the project by developing an advertising campaign to increase awareness of seafood and encourage greater consumption. The winning class will be announced early in December and will receive a prize from Sainsbury’s.

    Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, J K Thomson, British Trout Association, Seafish, Mallaig & Northwest Fishermen’s Association, International Fish Canners, Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group, Belhaven Smokehouse, Lunar, Orkney Herring Company, Burgon’s of Eyemouth and Sainsbury’s, all provided literature or seafood for the event.

    “The workshops were a huge success; the pupils and teachers enjoyed the activities, many children ate seafood for the first time, and were enthusiastic about repeating the experience. We look forward to seeing the results of their follow up project, and to working with the schools in the future,” said Project Manager Nicki Holmyard.

    “This event gave the pupils a unique opportunity to learn about seafood through interesting and exciting activities. It also allowed us to build what we hope will be long-standing links with the local community and with industry partners. Feedback from pupils and teachers was extremely positive and we are keen to see how inventive the children can be with their seafood advertising campaigns. Many thanks to everyone involved for all their hard work,” said Alison Hislop, Principal Teacher of Home Economics at Hawick High.

  • Increased turnover and jobs boost success for Seafood Scotland Project

    The results were announced today of a 2-year programme led by Seafood Scotland, in which 64 Scottish seafood companies were helped to add value to their products or processes.  The ‘Value Added’ project was funded jointly by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Enterprise, Aberdeenshire Council and the European Fisheries Fund. 

    “The programme created 110 new jobs and secured a number of others in our fishing dependent communities,” said Libby Woodhatch, CEO of Seafood Scotland.    “It also resulted in increased turnover for 82 percent of the companies involved, with 22 percent reporting increases in excess of £50,000 per year. The combined total increase was almost £2 million.”

    “The programme proved to be excellent value for money, with an average project spend of £2,140 per company returning between £28k and £37k each.  This equates to a 13 -17 fold return on the initial funding expenditure.”

    Companies were given up to five days of fully funded assistance from a consultant to undertake work that included re-engineering of packaging, development of branding strategies, creation of new seafood ranges for food service or retail sale, extension of shelf life for existing products, design and development of promotional literature, and promotional work. 

    New retail and wholesale business opportunities, new product development and the creation/protection of jobs were major benefits gained by participants. 

    Argyll Smokery (Dunoon), Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (Glasgow), North Bay (Peterhead) and Orkney Fisheries are just some of the companies who participated in the project. 

    “We used the funding to set up a website and to undertake new product development for value added seafood,” explained North Bay’s Gordon Rennie.  “Our smoked langoustines have since gained support from some of the UK’s top chefs and they have appeared on two TV programmes.”

    The programme enabled new smokehouse venture the Argyll Smokery to gain their SALSA (safe and local supplier accreditation) certificate this summer, which immediately opened up opportunities to supply their award winning products into in a local Waitrose store.  “Our salmon is on trial but selling well and we hope to roll out to more stores over the coming months,” said partner Karen Baxter.

    HIE was the main funder of the programme, and is delighted to see the results for businesses across Scotland and particularly so for the Highlands and Islands where the industry underpins many communities. Food and Drink Development Manager, Iain Sutherland said:   “A targeted boost in funding made a big difference to these businesses in tough trading times. It helped them to identify cost effective solutions that either sustained or increased growth above the industry norm over the past few years.”

    Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council's Fisheries Working Group, Councillor Peter Argyle, said: "Aberdeenshire Council's contribution to the project is part of an ongoing programme of support for the sector.  It is therefore pleasing to see the survey results confirm that the project has helped local fish processing companies to maintain and improve their competitive edge in what are very challenging market conditions.”

    Rachel Stewart, Scottish Enterprise Project Manager said:  “Seafood Scotland has done an excellent job in delivering this important project. The job creation and turnover increase figures are impressive and emphasise the business benefits of adding value to what is already an outstanding Scottish product.”

    A second phase of the scheme is now up and running and focuses on ‘maximising value’.  It encourages companies to reduce energy costs, improve process capability, reduce product giveaway, manage waste, and seek SALSA, BRC and MSC Chain of Custody accreditation to help them improve retail capability.

    Contact details of companies who benefited from the programme are available from Seafood Scotland.

  • Fish Masterclass at Edinburgh School of Food & Wine in conjunction with Seafood Scotland

    Date: Thursday, 10th November 2011

    Time: 7pm onwards

    Price: £35 per head (£60 for two)

    Following the success of our first two Masterclasses of 2011, Edinburgh School of Food & Wine is delighted to announce its ‘Fish Masterclass’, taking place on Thursday 10th November, in conjunction with Seafood Scotland.

    Our experienced chef will guide you through what to look for when buying fish and shellfish and demonstrate how to fillet and clean a number of different species. He will also cover a number of cooking methods, and ensure there are plenty of tasters for everybody to enjoy with a glass of wine or two. Nicki Holmyard from Seafood Scotland will be on hand to impart plenty of ‘fishy facts’ and to answer all your seafood queries.

    To book, call 0131 333 5001 or email info@esfw.com

  • Seafood industry induction for Scotland Food & Drink Chairman and CEO

    James Withers, the new CEO of Scotland Food & Drink, together with Chairman Ray Jones, are heading to Peterhead on Tuesday 4th October for a thorough induction into the Scottish seafood industry.

    During a visit hosted by Seafood Scotland, the pair will experience Peterhead market - the largest whitefish market in Europe, go onboard a whitefish and a pelagic vessel to discuss fishing at the sharp end with skippers and crew, and tour whitefish and shellfish processing plants.   Their trip will end at International Fish Canners, where smoking and canning processes will be demonstrated, and company MD Michael Clark will host a lunch.

    To put the visit into context, James and Ray will also receive presentations on the environmental issues associated with the fishing industry, the measures being taken to overcome these, and the wider work of Seafood Scotland.

    Libby Woodhatch, CEO of Seafood Scotland said: “We welcome the opportunity to show James Withers and Ray Jones how our industry works, and aim to give them a thorough understanding of the challenges affecting the supply chain. We collaborate closely with Scotland Food & Drink on a number of projects and I believe this visit will help to develop our relationship further.

    James Withers said: “Having come from an agricultural background, I am keen to spend time in the other key primary production sector. Our seafood industry enjoys a reputation for quality at home and abroad. I want to understand the ingredients of that success, but crucially understand the challenges too. My ambition is that Scotland Food & Drink continues to work hand in hand with Seafood Scotland to grow a sector which is so critical to building the nation's reputation as a land of food and drink."

  • Seafood Industry Induction for James Withers and Ray Jones

    James Withers, the new CEO of Scotland Food & Drink, together with Chairman Ray Jones, are heading to Peterhead on Tuesday 4th October for a thorough induction into the Scottish seafood industry.

    During a visit hosted by Seafood Scotland, the pair will experience Peterhead market - the largest whitefish market in Europe, go onboard a whitefish and a pelagic vessel to discuss fishing at the sharp end with skippers and crew, and tour whitefish and shellfish processing plants.   Their trip will end at International Fish Canners, where smoking and canning processes will be demonstrated, and company MD Michael Clark will host a lunch.

    To put the visit into context, James and Ray will also receive presentations on the environmental issues associated with the fishing industry, the measures being taken to overcome these, and the wider work of Seafood Scotland.  

    Libby Woodhatch, CEO of Seafood Scotland said: “We welcome the opportunity to show James Withers and Ray Jones how our industry works, and aim to give them a thorough understanding of the challenges affecting the supply chain. We collaborate closely with Scotland Food & Drink on a number of projects and I believe this visit will help to develop our relationship further.”

    James Withers said: “Having come from an agricultural background, I am keen to spend time in the other key primary production sector. Our seafood industry enjoys a reputation for quality at home and abroad. I want to understand the ingredients of that success, but crucially understand the challenges too. My ambition is that Scotland Food & Drink continues to work hand in hand with Seafood Scotland to grow a sector which is so critical to building the nation's reputation as a land of food and drink."

  • Oban oyster shucker to compete in world championship in Galway!

    Angus Vajk (22) a biology undergraduate from Dunbeg, near Oban, is heading for Galway in Ireland this weekend to take part in the Bollinger World Oyster Opening Championships on 24th September!

    Son of oyster farmers Hugo and Judith Vajk of Caledonian Oysters, Angus won the Loch Fyne Scottish Oyster Opening Championships in Glasgow last month, beating a dozen other competitors including his father!

    “I have been opening oysters since before I could walk,” he quipped, as he accepted a prize plate from Virginia Sumsion, Marketing and Events Director of Loch Fyne Oysters. “I am thrilled to have won, and excited about going to the world championships, but it will be daunting being up against so many experts. I will be putting in a lot of speed practice this week!”

    Part of his prize was a trip to Galway to enjoy the annual international oyster and seafood festival, but Angus had to wait for the organisers of the world competition to confirm that his opening time of 4 minutes 5 seconds for 30 oysters was good enough to allow him to compete there.

    “Angus was a worthy winner and we are delighted to sponsor his entry in the worlds. We hope he will do well and bring the cup back home!” said Virginia Sumsion.

    Seafood Scotland, which helped to organise the Scottish competition at the Glasgow Riverside Festival, also wishes Angus the very best of luck. “This is the first time ever that the world oyster opening championship has had a Scottish competitor, so it is an honour for Angus to fly the flag for his country,” said Marketing Manager Clare Dixon.


  • Seafood Scotland board welcomes new vice chair

    Will Clark, the newly appointed vice-chair of the Seafood Scotland (SFS) Board , is a man with a mission; a mission to develop the Peterhead and Fraserburgh Fish Processors’ Association into a country-wide organisation, the Scottish Seafood Association (SSA).  He is also pleased to be playing a more active role in steering Seafood Scotland forward.

    “My organisation was a founder member of Seafood Scotland and it has been a privilege to see it evolve into a highly efficient body that is going from strength to strength in developing, marketing and promoting sustainable seafood.  My appointment as vice-chair will help to strengthen representation of the northeast processing sector, and I hope that this remit will soon widen to cover the whole of Scotland,” he said. 

    “The processing industry, as all other seafood sectors, works in an increasingly challenging environment and we feel the time is right to seek increased political recognition and representation.  We need to ensure that government does not think the industry stops at the pier end, and our new organisation, which currently has more than 40 members, aims to address this.  In short, it will take the whole of the Scottish processing industry onto a new footing,” he advised. 

    Will Clark believes there is a lack of representation for the downstream services that rely on a viable catching and processing industry. “The SSA will be open to affiliated interests such as net manufacturers, haulage and transport companies, box manufacturers and even elements of the catching sector. There has been criticism by politicians and unelected officials that the industry is fragmented, so the new association will bring everyone together.  We will seek to ensure a viable industry, which in turn supports our fishing dependent communities,” he stated.  “We will also work with SFS to deliver a strong message that the industry is a rewarding, highly skilled career.”

    Over the past two years, more than 50% of Will Clark’s members have benefited from financial assistance under Seafood Scotland’s Value Added Project, which was jointly funded by Scottish Enterprise, the European Fisheries Fund and Aberdeenshire Council.

    This scheme, which finished in the summer and has been superseded by a ‘Maximising Value’ programme, provided up to five days of fully funded consultant time to help processing companies undertake projects including website development, setting up direct trading operations, re-engineering of packaging, developing branding strategies, creating new product ranges and undertaking promotional work.

    “The work of Seafood Scotland in undertaking such projects is invaluable to industry, as is its role as delivery partner for Seafish in Scotland.  We welcome input by the entire seafood sector to help us develop relevant and meaningful activities, and Will’s enthusiastic contribution to the board will ensure we remain on target to do so,” said Chief Executive Libby Woodhatch.   

  • Food & Health Innovation Service

    Annual Conference & Workshop 29th September – Perth Racecourse – FREE


    Are you supplying or looking to break into the ever expanding global food and health market? Do you have a technical challenge, require greater market insight, or are just curious to know more and meet other like minded people from industry and academia?

    If so, come join the Food & Health Innovation team for our first Annual Conference & Workshop, where you'll learn more about this exciting new project and hear from a lineup of expert speakers giving a critical insight into the opportunities available to Scottish companies in this dynamic marketplace.

    Food & Health Innovation Service Project Leader, Prof. Philip Richardson from Campden BRI will chair the session and provide an introduction to the support available via the Food & Health Innovation service to Scottish food and drink companies.

    Global food & health marketing expert, Julian Mellentinwill be on hand to present the latest trends in the food & health market to help stimulate thinking and keep you ahead of the curve. As an added bonus, attendees will alsoreceive a FREE copy of Julian's latest report "Key Trends in R&D in Relation to Food, Drink, Nutrition and Health".

    Edyta Margas, Novel Technologies Specialist from Campden BRI will talk about "New technologies as the key to Product Innovation"-  Providing an overview of the how leading edge food processing technologies can enhance you product innovation capabilities.

    The afternoon workshops will involve a number of interactive breakout sessions focused on the morning themes, where you'll get the chance to meet the speakers and other expert contributors from industry and academia to get your questions answered.

    You'll also get the opportunity to meet the Food & Health Innovation Service team to discuss any food and health related issues you may have and, where suitable, arrange a FREE 1-1 company visit from one of our team..

    We hope to add a few surprise speakers and guests to the line-up in the coming week, so keep checking www.foodhealthinnovation.com for updates!

    For more information, or to book your free place please contact Fiona Hamill on fiona.hamill@saos.coop  Tel: 07799 450792

  • Information regarding export guidance to the USA

    Information for Fishery Products Establishments involved in the production of Fishery Products for export to the United States of America

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the USA is known to be stepping up its volume of inspections on a worldwide basis of food exporters to the United States. Here in the UK, and specifically to the seafood sector, there is a programme of inspections planned for fishery establishments, the first audits are already scheduled for September, and will focus on businesses in Scotland. It is likely that further visits may be undertaken later in 2011/12.

    These inspections are aimed at verifying compliance of exporting food establishments with the FDA’s requirements and United States food safety standards.

    For further information and some background to the FDA Foreign Food Inspection Programme please go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/InternationalActivities/ucm196386.htm

    Further general information on importing food products into the United States can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/InternationalActivities/Imports/default.htm

    The following information is intended to provide seafood businesses concerned in the export of fish and fishery products to the United States with easy access to relevant FDA guidance and Code of Federal Regulations. The documents provided are concerned in the general manufacture, packing and holding of food for human consumption; and additional specific HACCP and food safety regulations for fish and fishery products.

    • A short overview of the UK fishery products inspection programme and it’s expected focus from Seafish.
    • The current FDA - Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance.
      pdffda seafood haccp guidance.pdf
      Note: On page 188 of the FDA Seafood HACCP Guide
      This document was corrected on August 3, 2011. The Agency corrected a typographical error appearing in the April 2011 version of this document. The Agency corrected "15%" to "1.5%" so that the sentence in "Chapter 11: Aquaculture Drugs" now reads "Sodium sulfite Used in a 1.5% solution for 5 to 8 minutes to treat eggs in order to improve their hatchability."
    • Code of Federal Regulation: GMP in Manufacturing, Packing or Holding Food for Human Consumption.

    • Code of Federal Regulation: Procedures for the Safe and Sanitary Processing and Importing of Fish and Fishery Products.

    The Food Standards Agency in Scotland is liaising closely with the United States FDA in relation to this inspection programme in Scotland. Should you wish further information please contact:

    Andrew Morrison, Senior Environmental Health Specialist, Tel: 01224 285196 Email: Andrew.morrison@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

    This email address will be monitored during periods when Andrew Morrison is out of the office.


    Soctland Food__Drink

    Following the success again of this year’s event in Brussels, we are delighted to confirm that Scottish Development International (SDI) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) are again providing the opportunity for you and other Scottish companies to be part of the Scotland Food and Drink Pavilion at the European Seafood Exposition 2012. The cost of your package, should you decide to apply, will be £515 +VAT per square metre and includes the following: 

    • The provision of an attractive nationally branded pavilion constructed by our appointed contractor.
    • 3 x spotlights per 9 sq. m.
    • 1 x poseur table and 2 x bar stools per stand
    • 1 x power point per stand (any size)
    • Pre-show exhibitors meeting to explain your stand in more detail and to enable you to maximise your participation
    • On site support from experienced SDI and HIE staff, together with technical back up for the duration of the show
    • Market Development support from SDI personnel
    • Free business partnering through the Enterprise Europe Network (Scotland) brokerage event
    • Discounted rate (£477 +VAT) for Scotland Food and Drink (SF&D) members
    • Use of Scottish Pavilion’s hospitality lounge *
    • Seafood Bar organised by Seafood Scotland (subject to funding)
    • Invitation to you and guests to the Scottish Reception during ESE 2012
    • Press and PR support

    * Please note that while all exhibitors have access to the Scottish hospitality lounge for meetings and refreshments, this lounge is also open to Scottish visitors to ESE however their access is limited to seating being available. We will be vigilant to any company abusing this facility and ensure that the facility is available to all Scottish companies for business activity.

    The financial administration for this event will be managed by Scottish Development International. Please note that the following non-negotiable rules and deadlines will apply to all companies wishing to exhibit on the Scottish Pavilion: 

    • Deadline for all applications and receipt of signed contracts will be Friday 2 September 2011. Enclosed is a contract which you must complete and return to SDI by this date.
    • Following receipt of your signed contract, an invoice for a deposit of 40% of space and construction costs will be issued to you by SDI. This amount is payable to SDI within 30 days.
    • The remaining balance of 60% will be due for payment in January 2012.
    • Space will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

     It is critical that you return your completed contract by the 2 September 2011 deadline as we will not be holding any reserved additional space due to the penalties applicable for handing back unallocated space. Please comply within the above deadline to avoid any disappointment.


    Please note that for health and safety reasons it is SDI’s policy that only the SDI appointed stand contractor will be permitted to carry out build work on the Scottish Pavilion. Any company wishing to discuss this further must contact Carmel Nesbitt on 0141 228 2501.

    We sincerely hope you will join the Scottish delegation at this key international seafood trade show and very much look forward to working with you.

    If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    WILLIAM GRAY                                                CARMEL NESBITT

    Senior Executive, Food and Drink Team          Executive, Events Management Team

    Scottish Development International                  Scottish Development International

    e- William.Gray@scotent.co.uk              e – Carmel.Nesbitt@scotent.co.uk

  • Scottish Government steps in wake of North Sea oil leak

    The Scottish Government is taking ongoing action to establish the extent of the environmental impact of the oil leak at the Shell Gannet F Subsea installation.

    Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

    “The Scottish Government’s primary operational role is to assess and advise on the impact this spill may have on the marine environment, and Marine Scotland has carried out aerial surveillance of the affected area. Further survey flights planned for today will include an ornithologist, appointed by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, as an observer.

    “In the coming days Marine Scotland’s Fishery Research Vessel Scotia will take fish, seawater and sediment samples to monitor any environmental impact the leak may have caused. There are currently no Scottish fishing vessels operating close to the vicinity of the oil leak, therefore no impact is expected in terms of contaminated fish entering the food chain, but we remain vigilant.

    “Our understanding is that output from the North Sea oil leak has been greatly reduced, and that Shell is continuing work to stop the flow completely. It is important that Shell are as open and transparent as possible, and provide regular updates on the developing situation.

    “While it is for the UK Government, which has responsibility for the pipeline system, to take forward an investigation, it is critical that the Scottish Government has a full and formal role in this investigation.”


    Images taken by a Marine Scotland surveillance aircraft on August 15 can be accessed at:


    Video footage taken on August 15 is online at:


    Marine Scotland officials are participating in the Operations Control Unit and are ensuring that Scottish Ministers are kept informed of developments. The Operations Control includes representatives from Shell, UK Government department, Marine Scotland and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

    Under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 roles and responsibilities for responding to marine pollution are set out in the National Contingency Plan. The UK Department for Transport and their agency the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are in the lead for Government, with Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) where an offshore installation is involved.

    The National Contingency Plan is currently being reviewed by the MCA in order to take account of lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico and the recent national oil spill exercise which the First Minister instigated (Exercise Sula took place on 18-19 May this year in Scottish waters).

    Exercise Sula was ‘played’ at a number of locations in Aberdeen and Shetland, covering scenarios around the immediate aftermath of a deep-water oil spill and then oil potentially coming ashore one week later. This included a practical demonstration of response equipment and procedures, to which the media was invited. Marine Scotland, Resilience and communications officials took part in the Exercise - chairing the Environment Group and participating in a number of the response cells. A report of the Exercise is being prepared by DECC and the Maritime Coastguard Agency and will published shortly.

    Contact:  Tom Whittles: 0131 244 2614 / 07917 588 519

  • Loch Fyne present the Scottish Oyster Opening Championships


    The Glasgow Riverside Festival takes place on the 6th and 7th August, as part of the festival Loch Fyne are running an Oyster opening championship. 

    The best Chefs and Amateurs will compete to be the best Oyster Schucker in the Land.  The prize is a trip to the Galway Oyster Festival in Ireland in September and a potential place in the World Oyster Opening Championships that take place there (depending on your time meeting their criteria).

    Each competitor will be required to open 30 oysters. They will receive a sealed box of oysters on stage and should ensure it contains 30 oysters prior to the start. Points are awarded primarily for the speed of opening 30 oysters. Judges award bonus points for presentation of the tray of opened oysters. To enter the competition please complete the application form below and for further information competition guidelines have been made available.

    pdf sooc_application.pdf

    pdf rules_for_the_loch_fyne_scottish_oyster_opening_championship.pdf

  • Seafood Festival on the Menu at Riverside Museum

    Glasgow's latest star attraction, the £74million Riverside Museum, is to host a mouth-watering celebration of Scottish seafood early next month.

    Some of Scotland’s top chefs and leading names in the restaurant business will be at the museum on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August for the first-ever Riverside Seafood Festival. The free event promises to be a truly unique showcase of the very best Scottish seafood and culture, on the banks of the River Clyde. It is open from 10am to 8pm on Saturday and 11am to 8pm on Sunday. Museum opening times will be the same, giving people an extra incentive to come along.

    A host of highly acclaimed chefs including Jacqueline O’Donnell (The Sisters), Joe Queen (Glasgow Hilton) and John Quigley (Red Onion) will be giving free demonstrations across the weekend. Chefs from the Healthier Scotland ‘Focus on Food’ Cooking Bus will be offering hands-on lessons to help visitors prepare and cook an array of wonderful seafood dishes.

    Jacqueline O'Donnell outside the Riverside Museum

    The festival will also have a quality market stocking the very finest Scottish produce including smoked and fresh salmon from Loch Duart, fresh oysters from Caledonian Oysters, a seafood BBQ from MacCallums of Troon, oysters and smoked salmon from Loch Fyne, and scallops from the Waterfront Bar and Restaurant in Oban. Seafood information and interactive displays will also be featured.

    Top billing on Sunday is given to the Scottish Oyster Opening Championships. Leading chefs will go head to head with amateurs in a bid to be crowned the best oyster shucker in the land, with the chance to win a trip and potentially a place in the World Oyster Opening Championships in Galway. 

    Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor George Redmond, said: " The seafood festival brings together two of the nation's great loves - the Riverside Museum and good food - for what will be a fantastic weekend. There can be no better setting anywhere in the world to enjoy the very finest Scottish seafood than at our iconic new museum on the banks of the River Clyde.

    "With an exciting programme including demonstrations from some of Scotland's top chefs and a market selling the best local produce, it promises to be hugely popular with food lovers and transport enthusiasts alike. The museum has already established itself as one of Scotland’s top attractions and events like this will only add to its growing popularity."

    As well as celebrating the very finest seafood, Badaboom Bars are presenting the Scottish Gin, Whisky and Ale Bar, which will stock famous Scottish brands including Carroun Gin, Bowmore Whisky and Brewdog Ale. The bar will be open from 11am to 8pm on Sat and 12noon to 8pm on Sunday. Throughout the weekend there will be live music on the band stand all day playing jazz, traditional and contemporary Scottish Music.

    The festival is being organised by Glasgow Life in partnership with Seafood Scotland, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Scotland Food and Drink.  

    Clare Dixon of Seafood Scotland said: "This new event looks set to be a very busy and exciting weekend and really does offer something for all the family. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to sample a wide variety of seafood that is caught in our own waters. We hope that visitors will go home excited about fish and shellfish, and wanting to cook more for themselves!"

  • The Food & Health Innovation Service

    Scottish Enterprise and Scotland Food & Drink are offering Scottish companies a unique opportunity to help identify, and develop new products and processes for the commercially lucrative global food and health market.

    Health and nutrition are dominant trends within the food and drink sector. Naturally healthy foods, reformulated foods and leading edge functional foods represent a total market opportunity of £20bn in the UK and over £300bn worldwide.

    Scottish companies are ideally placed to succeed in this market with our international reputation for high quality, naturally healthy food products. To help Scottish companies take advantage of this growth market, we have launched the Food & Health Innovation Service.

    Campden BRI, a world leader in food innovation, has been appointed to lead this new initiative and provide a complete package of support for Scottish food and drink companies.

    The Food & Health Innovation Service will help companies:

    • Identify and understand the market opportunities in food and health that are relevant to their business and how these may be successfully exploited

    • Understand the food and health technologies that can be applied to result in new processes and new products for their business

    • Assist with the technical process of exploiting the above opportunities resulting in new product and process development and product reformulation

    • Scope out new project ideas in detail, including where to find new solutions and identifying the best partners to work with if required. This scoping will result in a detailed and fully costed project plan

    • Identify appropriate sources of funding to help deliver these fully scoped projects and help companies access this funding

    For more information on the Food & Health Innovation Service Click Here

    To find out more information on how your business can benefit from this support service please contact:

    Telephone: 0845 607 8787 email: info@foodhealthinnovation.com

    Web: www.foodhealthinnovation.com Twitter: scotfoodinnovn

  • Smart Exporter trade skills programme

    Smart Exporter Logo
    The smart approach to exporting

    Does your business export, or are you looking to make that first step and expand beyond the UK? Perhaps you have already considered international trade but thought it was best suited to larger businesses?

    Exciting opportunities exist for Scottish businesses regardless of exporting experience and business size.

    Smart Exporter, a new international trade skills programme offers FREE export support to up skill and improve the exporting performance of Scottish businesses and individuals.

    Smart Exporter aims to:

    -       Assist in the development of your international export strategy

    -       Access advice from a worldwide network of export experts at events (relevant to your international market and business sector)

    -       Help remove any barriers preventing your business from exporting

    -       Encourage more businesses to consider exporting

    -       Provide tailored support and training dependent on your international trade requirements

    -       Ensure you have a strong understanding of your target market

    Smart Exporter has already supported Lossie Seafoods Ltd to export. Lossie Seafoods are a niche, bespoke smoked salmon producer based in Buckie. Lossie Seafoods export 97% of their produce to 29-30 countries globally.

    Charles Devin, Export Sales & Marketing Director at Lossie Seafoods “Smart Exporter has helped us with all of our paper work required for the export market. This includes certificates of origin, radiation certificates, trace metal certificates and the legislation documents for the Arab countries. They talked us through and took us through different procedures very easily and professionally saving us a lot of hassle! Smart Exporter has helped us to grow our business very much indeed! Exporting is our business.”

    Support consists of specialist high quality training and workshops at no cost, market awareness events and roadshows, online learning tools, factsheets and a national helpline; all helping to address your exporting needs.

    The Smart Exporter programme is created through investment by Scottish Development International (SDI), a collaboration of Scotland's Chambers of Commerce represented by Scottish Chambers International (SCI) and the European Social Fund.

    Become a Smart Exporter- For further details view the Smart Exporter Information Pack on the Publications Page or Click Here


    Visit the Smart Exporter Website at www.smartexporter.co.uk


  • Seafood Scotland’s ‘Seafood Experience’ a hit at the Royal Highland Show

    Young visitors to the Children’s Discovery Centre at this year’s Royal Highland Show were delighted to take part in Seafood Scotland’s ‘seafood experience’.  During the four day event, nearly 2,000 children, including school groups, had the opportunity to learn about and taste a wide variety of different seafood products donated by SSMG, Macrae, Orkney Herring, International Fish Canners, and Nairns.

    A fresh seafood display featuring cod, saithe, haddock, whiting, herring, monkfish, sprats, langoustine, crab, mussels and oysters, was the starting point for children to find out where fish and shellfish come from.  Visual display cards were used to explain how these species are fished or farmed, and how they get from the sea to the plate. 

    An exciting ‘come dine with me’ session followed, in which the young visitors were encouraged to try mussels, smoked mackerel, crab pate, hot smoked salmon, cured herring and brisling sardines, and to rate them good, bad or indifferent.  There were some surprising results!  Singled out for special praise by the children, many of whom were trying seafood for the first time, was hot smoked salmon and hot smoked mackerel.  They also loved mussels and sardines, but were more wary of crab and herring.  

    “The event was voted a complete success by the children and by the Royal Highland Education Trust who operate the Discovery Centre, and we have been invited back next year,” said SFS marketing manager Clare Dixon.  “We also enjoyed the opportunity to engage with so many young people, and to help them understand where their seafood comes from and why they should be eating more of it.  The experience will help us with the development of our new ‘Seafood in Schools’ education project, which we will be running throughout the new school year.”

  • Seafood Scotland helps companies remain market facing

    Seafood Scotland has launched an export programme to provide companies with insight and support that will help them respond to market changes and maximise opportunities to develop or expand trading links with France, Spain and Italy

    Experienced France-based seafood consultant Bruno Correard will be compiling quarterly market insight reports, which Seafood Scotland anticipates will provide invaluable information and bring about real opportunities for the Scottish industry.    The reports include analysis of political, economic and social factors affecting the seafood industry.  “These will help to identify changes in consumer behaviour, identify new trends, and aid trade development for seafood companies.    Bruno Correard is also available to provide support on the ground in these countries where needed,” says Marketing Manager Clare Dixon.

    “We are delighted that Bruno Correard will be undertaking a role for Seafood Scotland and the Scottish seafood industry. He has a wealth of European and global seafood experience, from catching, right through to retail and food service.  The market insight and intelligence he provides will ensure that we remain market facing and able to maximise the value of Scottish seafood. With his extensive network of contacts, he is also able to identify new opportunities for Scottish seafood,” states SFS CEO Libby Woodhatch. 

    Seafood Scotland is also working alongside Scottish Development International to explore global markets. “We are currently canvassing seafood companies, requesting information about the markets they export to and those they would like to develop.   This assessment will be used to identify future export growth opportunities as part of a wider push to develop the entire Scottish food and drink industry,” explained Clare.

    For further information about this programme contact Clare Dixon at:
    Clare@seafoodscotland.org or 0131 557 9344.

  • Ellon Chef wins Young Scottish Seafood Chef title

    An exciting cook off in the Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year Competition saw Orry Shand (21), Eat on the Green, Ellon, beat five other finalists to claim the title.  The competition took place at the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine, Newliston. 

    “There was very tough competition, so to win was amazing.  I am very happy with today and enjoyed the experience of competing.  I have a real passion for seafood!” he said. Orry’s winning dishes were:

    Seared scallops with crab and cucumber cannelloni, carrot and vanilla puree, summer vegetable salad and lime vinaigrette

    Salted hake with herb and parmesan crust, crushed jersey royals, roast pine nuts, roast squid, baby spinach, white asparagus and asparagus sauce


    Orry received a specially commissioned trophy, a week’s work experience at The Captain’s Galley in Scrabster, and the opportunity to cook for Seafood Scotland at events throughout the year.  He was also presented with a Federation of Chefs Scotland Silver Medal.

    Joint runners up were Adam Newth, from No 1, The Balmoral and Barry Robertson, Turnberry Hotel, who were also presented with silver medals from the Federation.

    Federation of Chefs Scotland judges Ian MacDonald (St Andrews Links Trust) and Joe Queen (Glasgow Hilton), were joined by Jim Cowie, The Captain’s Galley, to determine the winner.  They judged finalists on their imagination in choice of recipe ingredients, use of seasonal Scottish produce, and skill in preparation, cooking and presentation.

    “It was very encouraging to see the young chefs’ understanding of sustainable seafood and the way they were able to use them to create modern style restaurant dishes.  We had a difficult job today, but there was a worthy winner and I wish him luck in his career,” said Joe Queen.  

    “I look forward to having Orry work in the restaurant in the near future, and aim to increase his depth of knowledge about the raw material and to refining his skills,” said Jim Cowie.  “We use a lot of local seafood, and do our own marinating, smoking and brining, and I am sure that he will learn a lot from his time with us.” 

    “We were impressed with the skills shown by all the chefs today and with their attention to detail, and congratulations go to them all for getting to the finals,” stated Ian MacDonald.

    The finalists cooked a seafood starter and main course dish using a selection of sustainable species from Scottish hake, herring, haddock, megrim, squid, crab and scallops.

    Clare Dixon, Seafood Scotland Marketing Manager, said the competition had generated considerable interest from chefs in colleges, hotels and restaurants throughout the country.  “It is part of a wider package of measures designed to encourage greater consumption of Scottish seafood, and working with young chefs is an effective way to achieve that,” she said.   “We are delighted to welcome Orry Shand as our new Seafood Chef of the Year and look forward to working with him over the coming months to promote sustainable Scottish seafood,” she said.
  • Young chefs impressed by seafood industry visit

    Five of the six finalists in Seafood Scotland’s ‘Young Seafood Chef of the year competition’ were in Peterhead today (Tuesday 7th June) to see at first hand, how fish gets from the sea to their kitchens.    They were accompanied by Seafood Scotland Marketing Manager Clare Dixon.

    The finalists were Adam Newth, No1 The Balmoral, Edinburgh; Orry Shand, Eat on the Green Restaurant, Udny Green, Ellon; Michael Clark, Elmwood College and Seafood Restaurant, St Andrews; Meagan Toye, Raploch Community Campus, Forth Valley College;  Anastasios Neofitos, Byzantium Restaurant, Dundee; and Barry Robertson, Turnberry Hotel, who was unable to make the trip.

    Their tour began with an early morning visit to Peterhead market, to see one of the busiest sales of the year.  The young chefs were impressed by the volume and variety of freshly landed seafood and are keen to make better use of it in future.  

    Jess Sparks, Seafood Scotland’s Environmental & Technical Manager, gave them a comprehensive briefing about the sustainability of the industry, and fielded many questions on seasonality, responsible fishing, and which species are best to use. 

    Tours of Laeso Fish Ltd, a local shellfish processing company specialising in Scottish langoustines, and Lunar Processing, Aberdeen, which processes whitefish and salmon, completed the chefs’ look at the supply chain. 


    “We were delighted to welcome the young chefs to Peterhead to showcase our seafood industry, and I was pleased to debunk several myths, and to show that all the species landed are good environmental choices on the menu,” explained Jess Sparks. 

    Orry Shand, said: “My visit gave me a great insight into how fish is handled before it goes to chefs.  I was particularly interested to see how it is sold on the market, and was really impressed by the freshness of all the fish.”

    The young chef competition is part of a wider package of measures sponsored by Scottish Government that are designed to encourage greater awareness of the quality and sustainability of Scottish seafood. 

    The chefs are now preparing for the ‘cook off’, which takes place on June 27th at the Edinburgh School of Food & Wine.  Top prize is a specially commissioned trophy, a week’s work experience at the Captain’s Galley Seafood Restaurant in Scrabster – one of the best in the UK - and the opportunity to cook the winning dishes at a Ministerial dinner. The chefs will be cooking a variety of Scottish species including Hake, Herring, Haddock, Megrim, Squid, Crab and Scallops. Judging will be overseen by the Federation of Chefs, Scotland.   


  • New funding programme for Aberdeenshire seafood companies

    Seafood Scotland is to undertake a major programme in the Aberdeenshire area until the end of March 2013, with support from Aberdeenshire Council and the European Fisheries Fund.  It will support the sustainable economic growth of Scotland’s seafood industry, with a particular focus on Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Banffand Buchan, and help to maximise the value of the catch.

    “With increased pressure on margins, processors recognise the need to implement quality standards that help to minimise wastage and maximise efficiencies,” says Business Development Manager Ian Land. “The new programme will focus on helping businesses to achieve and maintain the ‘Safe and Local Supplier Accreditation’ (SALSA) or the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Accreditation, which in turn will raise overall standards,” he added. 

    Companies will also be able to apply for assistance to undertake the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody audit, enabling them to handle product from the growing number of Scottish certified fisheries in order to meet market demand for sustainably certified seafood.   For example ASDA has made a commitment that by 2012, all seafood sold in stores must be sourced from MSC fisheries or equivalent. 

    The new funding package means that Seafood Scotland can financially support up to 23 Aberdeenshire seafood businesses.  These will be encouraged to engage an external provider to assist with the pre-audit and audit process. Companies aiming for SALSA accreditation will be able to claim up to £1,000 in assistance, whilst those going for BRC or MSC accreditation can claim up to £1,500. 

    “BRC and SALSA are formal food industry standards and are recognised by most major European and UK food retailers and UK food service suppliers,” explained Ian. “By achieving a formal level of accreditation, seafood businesses can prove to suppliers that they operate to a particular quality and food safety standard.  The trading value of such accreditation is highly valuable and should not be underestimated.”   

    Further details about the new programme can be obtained from Ian Land on 01241 431551 or 07876 035722 or email  ian@seafoodscotland.org

  • Seafood Scotland takes ‘Scottish Seafood’ to London!

    Seafood Scotland (SFS) is hosting a ‘celebration of sustainable Scottish seafood’ on 3rd June from 1000 – 1600 and 4th June from 1000 – 1300 at St Katherine’s Pier, London, in conjunction with Billingsgate Seafood Training School.   The Marine Stewardship Council will also be in attendance, helping to promote MSC eco-labelled seafood and the Fish & Kids project. 

    Scottish fishermen, who arrived in London on the langoustine trawler ‘Amity’ earlier this week, will be helping to cook up tasty samples of MSC North Sea haddock, MSC mackerel, and langoustines, which are currently going through the MSC certification process.  They are also happy to answer questions about working at sea, and to talk about sustainability initiatives being put in place by the industry to ensure a secure future for our fisheries.

    The Amity is moored alongside HMS Belfast, and skipper Jimmy Buchan of BBC TV Trawlermen fame, is looking forward to welcoming visitors onboard for a look around.  Jimmy is in town to launch a book about his experiences at sea.

    Local school holiday clubs are taking the opportunity to see the vessel on Friday morning, and the children are looking forward to their visit.  The afternoon sees many London-based chefs visit the Amity to learn how seafood is caught and stored onboard, and the public are welcome on Saturday morning to enjoy a taste of Scotland and experience life onboard!

    “This is an exciting opportunity to take Scottish seafood to the heart of London.  We are grateful to the Billingsgate Seafood Training School and the Amity for helping to make this happen.  The London public is in for a treat this weekend and we look forward to welcoming them,” said Seafood Scotland’s Nicki Holmyard.

  • Waitrose and Scottish fishermen help MSC reach 9,000 products

    UK retailer Waitrose has this week helped the Marine Stewardship Council to tip the balance on 9,000 ecolabelled products worldwide. The 9,000th product – is MSC ecolabelled Waitrose Oat Crumbed Scottish Mackerel Fillets. The mackerel is sourced from the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group western mackerel fishery, certified in 2008.

    Fishermen committed to sustainable fishing

    John Goodlad, Chairman of the SPSG, said: “The MSC certification is independent confirmation that the Scottish mackerel fishery is being managed in a sustainably and responsibly way and that Scotland is helping to set the standard for well managed fisheries around the globe.  MSC mackerel products sold in Waitrose are also a wonderful and tasty source of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids – all caught and processed in Scotland!

    “SPSG are fully committed to the MSC process.  As well as certification for western mackerel, we also hold MSC status for our North Sea and Atlanto-Scandian herring fisheries.  West of Scotland herring is also currently under assessment and if successful, will mean we have more than 98% of the Scottish pelagic quota under MSC certification.”

    Sustainable fish “Increasingly important”

    Waitrose currently stocks over 30 MSC certified products ranging from South Africa hake fillets on the fish counter to luxury MSC certified Coquille Saint Jacques in the freezer department. Jeremy Langley, Waitrose Fish Buyer, said: “We are delighted to have played a role in helping the MSC to achieve this great result, which highlights how increasingly important it is to consumers and retailers alike that the fish they buy and sell is sustainable.  Our Waitrose Sustainable Fishing Policy has been in place for over a decade and as part of this we have worked closely with the MSC to encourage consumers to make the most of fish such as mackerel which are plentiful and delicious too.”

    Toby Middleton, UK Country Manager for the MSC added: “Waitrose is a long-standing supporter of the MSC programme and this is very welcome news both for the marine environment and for Waitrose customers. I look forward to working closely with Waitrose and seeing more MSC certified products on their shelves in the future. “

    For further information, please contact James Simpson, Marine Stewardship Council on +44 (0)207 246 8913 or email james.simpson@msc.org

    Come and meet us at stand 6-853 at the European Seafood Exposition!

    The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation guidelines for fisheries certification.  The FAO ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries’ require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include:

    ·         Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence;

    ·         Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;

    ·         Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.

    The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague, Glasgow, Berlin, Cape Town, Paris, Madrid and Stockholm.

    In total, over 240 fisheries are engaged in the MSC programme with 105 certified and over 140 under full assessment.  Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment.  Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to seven million metric tonnes of seafood, representing over 12 per cent of global capture production for direct human consumption. The fisheries already certified catch close to five million metric tonnes of seafood annually – over seven per cent of the total wild capture for direct human consumption.  Worldwide, more than 9,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

    For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit www.msc.org
  • UK’s first certified sustainable Scottish haddock and chips on the menu at The Bay

    The Bay fish and chip shop in Stonehaven is, this week, the first UK fish and chip shop to offer its customers MSC certified sustainable Scottish haddock. Although other fish and chips shops have started frying MSC certified South Africa hake, The Bay is the first to use the recently certified Scottish haddock. The certified sustainable haddock and chips are easily identified on the shop’s menus by the blue MSC ecolabel next to each item.

    Owner Calum Richardson explained: “When the Scottish haddock won its MSC certificate, I knew that we had to have certified sustainable haddock on our menus. Our customers are looking for sustainable, local fish and chips. By getting MSC certified, we can offer them that and more: fully traceable, certified sustainable Scottish haddock.”

    “I’m proud that we’re the first in the UK but I’m sure we won’t be the only fish and chip shop serving it for long. MSC Scottish haddock is a fantastic fish and I’m sure that it is only a matter of time before other fish and chip shops across the country gain certification.”

    The Bay was supported to gain MSC Chain of Custody certification through the Seafood Scotland Value Added Programme. Business Development Manager Ian Land said: “Getting MSC product to the public is about getting the supply chain involved as much as the fishery and we were pleased to help Calum with the Chain of Custody process. His customers are pleased to know that their haddock supper is sustainable as well as being good to eat!”

    Hannah Arcaro, UK Foodservice manager for the MSC added: “Calum and The Bay are an inspiration for the industry. By getting MSC certified online, and in record time, they have shown that you can put certified sustainable haddock and chips on the menu with locally-sourced, certified sustainable fish. Recent campaigns in the press have shown that UK customers want sustainable fish and chips. Now, The Bay has shown how easy it is to add MSC certified Scottish haddock to their choices.”

    If you want to get your fish and chip shop MSC certified, visit www.msc.org/restaurants to find out more.


  • Fishing for Litter Campaign nets 200th tonne in North Sea

    The 200th tonne of litter removed from the North Sea as part of the acclaimed Fishing for Litter Campaign will be brought ashore at Peterhead on Tuesday March 8.

    The scheme encourages fishing vessels to bring ashore litter they net whilst out at sea, clearing the waters of land-based litter such as plastic bottles and bags. Some of the larger items hauled in include fridges, mattresses, countless calor gas canisters and even an old mine.

    There are currently 162 boats involved in the campaign, which is spearheaded by KIMO, a pioneering environmental organisation which has contributed to a steady reduction in marine pollution in Europe's seas. Seafood Scotland has been instrumental in promoting the initiative to vessels. 

    As testament to the success of the scheme, the 200th tonne will be brought ashore by the langoustine trawler, skippered by Jimmy Buchan, who appeared in the BBC ‘Trawlermen’ television series.

    Jimmy said: "I have really seen the benefits of being involved in the Fishing for Litter scheme over the past few years, both from an environmental and a fisherman's point of view. By removing litter from the sea, I am gradually finding less and less rubbish in the areas I fish. Plastic rubbish is a real problem for me because it can clog up the net and hinder the fishing process. I would like to see more vessels signed up to the scheme so that we can increase the good work we are doing."

    Tom Piper, KIMO UK coordinator, said: “I am delighted that the project has reached this milestone and hope we can now secure the remaining funding to ensure the future of the project. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the crew members of the boats and the harbour staff who volunteer their time to clear the seas of litter and who make the project such a success."

    With Tom and Jimmy at the dock on the day will be Nick Bates, retired Captain of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2 and an ardent supporter of the campaign. He added: “For too long people have used the sea as a dumping ground and campaigns like this have to be commended and supported to protect the oceans for all.”

  • Seafood Scotland launches third Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year Competition

    Seafood Scotland (SFS) today launched its search to find the ‘Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year 2011’, with a competition aimed at chefs under 23 on 30th June 2011. The competition was launched at ScotHot, the Scottish Hotel and Catering Expo, held in Glasgow.

    Prizes for the winner include a specially commissioned trophy, a week’s work experience with a top Scottish chef, and the opportunity to cook for Seafood Scotland at events throughout the year, including a Ministerial dinner.

    “We always have tremendous response to this competition and expect it to attract a high calibre of entrants from colleges and restaurants across Scotland,” said Sarah Holmyard, SFS Marketing Manager.

    The competition is in its third year and is part of an ongoing package of measures designed to encourage greater domestic consumption of Scottish seafood. Chefs must submit recipes for a starter and a main dish, using seafood from a given selection of fish and shellfish species.

    The recipes will be paper judged by a panel from the Federation of Chefs Scotland, who will choose six finalists to take part in a cook-off at the end of June. They will be looking for competitors to show imagination in their choice of recipe ingredients, for use of seasonal Scottish produce, and for skill in preparation, cooking and presentation.

    The six lucky finalists will be invited to join a trip to the northeast of Scotland to see the seafood industry in action. They will visit Peterhead fish market, fish and shellfish processors, and go onboard fishing vessels. “These visits enable young chefs to see the wealth of fresh seafood landed in Scotland and fire their imagination to be creative with it,” explained Sarah.

    The deadline for submission of entries is Thursday 28th April, and full details and an entry form can be downloaded from the SFS website, www.seafoodscotland.org or from the Federation of Chefs Scotland website, www.scottishchefs.com.

  • Scottish seafood tops the menu in Lyon, France

    Seafood Scotland is in Lyon, France, this week at the country’s largest foodservice show SIRHA, promoting the very best of Scottish seafood.  The organisation is also supplying seafood for the fish course at the Bocuse d’Or competition, held in conjunction with SIRHA, in which 24 of the world’s greatest chefs are competing head to head to win a gold statue of the legendary Paul Bocuse.


    “We were delighted to win the supply contract for this prestigious competition, which has given us the opportunity to introduce chefs all over the globe to the quality of sustainable Scottish seafood.  In particular, they have been using Scottish langoustine, monkfish and crab, which are the three species chosen for the Bocuse d’Or competition,” said Marketing Manager Sarah Holmyard.  “The langoustine and monkfish are supplied by Frozen @ Sea Ltd and the crab by Burgons of Eyemouth, following a public tender process.”  Both companies have travelled to France this week to promote their products and benefit from the publicity surrounding the competition. 


    The three species are particularly important exports for Scotland.  In 2009, total UK exports of monkfish were 4,121 tonnes worth £31,787,000.00, crab exports were 18,959 tonnes worth £75,036,000.00, and langoustine exports were 20,354 tonnes worth £110,877,000.00. 


    It is the first time that Scotland has been chosen to sponsor the seafood category of the Bocuse d’Or competition and Sarah explained that it a real achievement to be involved. “As part of the judging process we had to provide full information about the measures taken in Scotland to ensure the sustainability of seafood supplies,” she said.  “The judges were impressed by the country’s efforts to lead the field in the EU in sustainable fisheries management.  They also noted that over half by value of our landings are now either MSC-certified or in the full assessment process, with many more on track to achieve the gold standard of sustainability.”


    “We are delighted that the profile of Scottish seafood has been raised by becoming sponsors of the Bocuse d’Or seafood course, and wish all the competitors the very best of luck in the competition this week,” stated Sarah.  “We also look forward to tasting their dishes!”

  • Could algae offer answer for the future of global fish feed?

    The Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF), in association with Marks and Spencer,

    has commissioned new research to look at the potential to use seaweed (macroalgae) and

    other microscopic algae as commercially viable sources of raw materials to feed fish.

    With food supplies from wild fisheries reaching a plateau, almost 50% of all the seafood

    consumed now comes from aquaculture of which 6% is marine fish farming. The effect of world

    population growth combined with our increasing consumption of seafood means that the

    demand for seafood can only be met by aquaculture production.

    Like pigs and poultry, many types of farmed fish are fed on formulated diets to ensure they

    remain healthy and grow at an optimal rate. However, a proportion of these diets rely on raw

    materials from capture fisheries. Whilst this feed is usually confined to types of fish humans

    would not choose to eat, it is generally accepted that supplies of proteins (fish meal) and

    lipids (fish oils) are finite and that alternative sources and diet formulations will be needed.

    There is increasing interest worldwide in growing micro and macro algae for a variety of

    purposes – including biofuels, bioplastics, pharmaceuticals and as raw materials for

    formulated diets. With its extensive coastline, well established marine research capacity and

    progressive approach to renewable energy development, Scotland is at the forefront of this

    activity, with a growing body of research expertise as well as commercial and political


    Mark James, from SARF, said: “The use of seaweeds and other algae could help to reduce

    reliance on traditional sources of raw materials for aquaculture diets. There is also some

    evidence to suggest that they may have other important properties relevant to fish health

    and welfare. The fact that seaweeds would largely be cultivated at sea means that there

    would be no competition for valuable arable land or freshwater resources. This project will

    hopefully provide an objective view on the viability of algae as a raw material source for

    aquaculture feeds. As ever, the harsh realities of global economics, demand and consumer

    acceptance will need to be considered, but there is the prospect that seaweeds and their

    microscopic relatives may play an increasingly important part in our future.”

    Richard Luney, Wild Fish and Aquaculture Manager from Marks and Spencer said “as part

    of our Plan A environmental and ecological initiatives we have committed to sourcing all of

    our aquaculture species and feeds from the most sustainable sources by 2015. By

    supporting the SARF project we aim to understand the potential for algae to supplement our

    aquaculture feeds with ingredients that have the potential to provide essential health

    benefits to our customers whilst taking some of the pressure off wild fish sources”.

    Richard Slaski of Epsilon Resource Management Ltd, the contractor chosen to undertake

    the research project, said: ”On a global basis animal feeds consume a significant proportion

    of available fish meal and fish oils. We know that fish oil equivalents, in particular, can be

    produced by some types of algae. If we can use algae to provide these ingredients, not only

    will it make feed formulation more flexible, it will cut out some of the intermediate steps in

    the food chain and aquaculture will be doing its part to reduce pressure on wild fish stocks.”

    Dr Piers Hart, Aquaculture Policy Officer for WWF Scotland, who was involved in developing

    the specification for the review, commented: “WWF welcomes this new approach to help

    address one of the key challenges for the future of the fish farming industry. The potential

    for replacing wild fish with seaweeds in feeds for farmed fish is a fantastic opportunity to

    improve the sustainability of salmon farming and fish farming in general.”


    Editors Notes

    The vast majority of aquaculture production (c. 88%) is either marine plants and algae, filter

    feeding shellfish, or omnivorous/freshwater finfish with a low requirement for marine protein

    and lipid derived feeds. However, the remaining small (but important to Scotland and other

    EU27 states) percentage are carnivorous finfish species, which require commercially

    formulated feeds that contain high levels of protein and lipid. The traditional source of the

    raw materials to manufacture these diets has been fishmeal and fish oils derived from the

    feed fish capture sector – largely to ensure that the amino acid and fatty acid components

    are nutritionally suitable for the finfish species being cultivated.

    This issue was also discussed at a recent Marine Conservation Society workshop - “Feeding

    the Fish of the Future – Alternative choices for aquafeeds”, which highlighted the increasing

    need for the aquaculture feeds of the future to rely on alternative, non-marine ingredients,

    such as algae. The event also highlighted the growing interest and concern for the future

    formulation of aquaculture feeds by policy makers, NGO’s, feed companies, and retailers.

    The Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum is an independent company whose main aim is

    to support research into aquaculture and related areas. The Strategic Framework for

    Scottish Aquaculture was published by the Scottish Executive in March 2003. This

    document outlined a vision of an aquaculture industry guided by the principles of sustainable

    development, balancing economic progress with social justice and environmental

    responsibility. The formation of the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum was one of 33

    priorities for action contained within the framework and was created to promote, encourage

    and support research and development in aquaculture. SARF was formed in April 2004 as

    an independent company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

    The aims of SARF are:

    • To promote, encourage and support scientific research and development in

    aquaculture and related areas. This includes research in the fields of environmental

    impacts, technical and biological cultivation and health and welfare science.

    • To enhance public understanding of aquaculture through the dissemination of

    research results in the public domain. This will include research exhibitions and online

    publications of investigations and results.

    • SARF has a range of members including representatives from the aquaculture

    industry, government organisations, wild fish groups and environmental NGO's. The

    research undertaken will be across a broad range of areas and will be required to

    meet the collective needs of its members.


    Dr Mark James –

    Email: majames@sarf.org.uk

    Tel: 01350 727484

    Mobile: 07789743487


  • UK Bocuse d'Or Candidate Visits Scottish Fishing Industry

    UK Bocuse d’Or competition finalist Simon Hulstone and his sous chef Jordan Bailey, will visit Peterhead on Tuesday 9th November to learn about the Scottish seafood industry and the species they will be using for the final of this prestigious competition.  

    “Seafood Scotland (SFS) won the bid last year to have Scottish monkfish, langoustine and crab used for the seafood course in the final of the Bocuse d’Or competition in France, in January 2011.  24 chefs from around the world will be taking part and using Scottish products and we hope they will continue to use them once they experience their excellent quality,” stated SFS Marketing Manager Sarah Holmyard. 

    “Simon was chosen by the UK Bocuse d’Or committee to represent his country, and we are thrilled to welcome such a prestigious chef to the northeast.  We want him to see at first hand the superiority of the fish and shellfish he will be using, and to hear about the ongoing initiatives that make Scottish seafood sustainable.”    

    SFS fought off stiff competition to win the bid, making it the first time in the history of the competition that Scottish seafood will be represented.  A tendering process has just been completed to determine which companies will supply products and benefit from excellent global exposure.  “The tenders were won by Frozen at Sea Ltd who will supply langoustine and monkfish, and Burgons Ltd, who will provide crab,” said Sarah. 

    The chefs will enjoy dinner with fishermen and suppliers at the Buchan Braes hotel, Boddam, visit Peterhead market, go onboard a fishing vessel, and tour a langoustine processing plant.

  • North Sea haddock fishermen celebrate sustainable stock status!

    Peterhead market received the first landings of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified North Sea haddock this morning (29th October), as fishermen and members of the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group (SFSAG) celebrated the sustainable status of this stock.

    North Sea haddock is the first Scottish whitefish to be certified with the gold standard of sustainability, and is of significant value to the fleet (26 thousand tonnes worth £25 million in 2009).   It is also the first fishery of its kind to be certified in the North Sea.

    Mike Park, Chair of SFSAG said: “The Scottish industry has been involved in a number of initiatives to demonstrate its sustainability and today is a significant milestone, illustrating the progress that has been made in a relatively short period of time. Achieving MSC accreditation for North Sea haddock will enable the industry to prove its credentials to the supply chain, through a recognised and independently verified standard, and ensure that the top quality haddock landed by Scottish vessels is available to as many consumers as possible. “

    First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond MSP joined SFSAG members at a luncheon to witness the presentation of the MSC certificate by Steven Tait, Senior Marine Stewardship Council International Manager.

    First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Congratulations to SFSAG for this landmark achievement.  Scotland is leading the rest of Europe on fisheries conservation and achieving the MSC gold standard for Scottish haddock is further recognition of this. The award is excellent news for our fishing fleets and is testament to the hard work of the industry in recent years.

    “North Sea haddock is Scotland’s most valuable whitefish stock and achieving sustainable stock status will ensure further opportunities for our fishermen in the future. This could open the door for lucrative deals with leading retailers which value MSC status. 

    “The Scottish Government and industry have been working together to ensure that we are at the forefront of developing innovative ways to manage our fisheries. We have introduced the Conservation Credits Scheme in North Sea whitefish fisheries, which has been instrumental in the certification of haddock.  And WWF ranked Scotland number 1 in Europe, together with Denmark, for conservation measures by North Sea whitefish fleets in 2009.” 

    Haddock currently ranks number four in volume and value in the UK marketplace and total retail sales increased year on year to 30th September 2010 by 5.4% in value and 14.7% in volume.

    “There has been considerable interest from both retailers and the food service sector in MSC North Sea haddock.  Certification will help to secure existing markets, create new opportunities, and reassure the consumer that North Sea Haddock is a good purchase choice,” stated Davie Anderson, Chairman of the Scottish Association of Fish Producer Organisations and a member of SFSAG.  

    The Food and Drink Federation welcomes the MSC certification of North Sea haddock and congratulates all those involved in achieving this successful outcome.  “Our fish processing member companies place great emphasis on the responsible sourcing of seafood and this is one of many initiatives which contribute to this.  We are also working closely with our supply chain partners and WWF to improve the sustainability of the valuable renewable resource which fish stocks represent,” said Andrew Kuyk CBE, Director of Sustainability and Competitiveness.

  • Sustainable Scottish Seafood Celebrated

    A CELEBRATION of Sustainable Scottish Seafood was held at the Scottish Parliament last night, with the best in Scottish seafood served up to about 100 guests from the fishing, retail, wholesale, catering and political sectors.

    Sustainable haddock, langoustine, crab, monkfish, squid and scallops were on the menu at the event which was organised by Seafood Scotland for the Scottish Fisheries Promotions Group (SFPG). Part of the ongoing Eat More Fish campaign, it was arranged during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight to highlight the measures the Scottish fishing industry is undertaking to ensure that seafood stocks remain sustainable for future generations to harvest.

    George West, chairman of the SFPG said: “Our group was set up by an enthusiastic band of fishermen who want to improve the public's perception of Scottish seafood, encourage increased consumption, and put across the positive aspects of our work. We are funding a number of projects that will be delivered by Seafood Scotland to help achieve these aims.”

    The event included Scottish seafood cookery demonstrations by Nico Simeone, the Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year, and Craig Sandle, head chef of Michelin-starred Number One at The Balmoral, Edinburgh. Live traditional music was provided by local group Folk It, while whisky tasting was hosted by Gordon & MacPhail, and featured its Benromach distillery.


    Iain MacSween, CEO of the Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation and Louize Hill of WWF gave short presentations on the sustainable aspects of the Scottish fishing industry and the event was closed by the First Minister.

    First Minister Alex Salmond said: “At each of the Cabinet meetings across Scotland this summer, the Scottish Government hosted food and drink receptions to showcase the very best in local produce.

    “I have had the privilege of sampling Scotland’s delicious seafood - ranging from mussels from the Dornoch Firth, trout from the Isle of Bute, smoked salmon from Lothian and fresh salmon from Argyll, to name just a few dishes.

    “Our seafood is rightly regarded as the finest in the world and the Eat More Fish, Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight and Year of Food and Drink campaigns are all helping to take this message to new audiences, as well as strengthen existing markets.

    “Scotland is now recognised as leading Europe through its responsible fishing methods. An increasing number of Scottish fisheries are being certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, the gold standard of sustainability. Seafood Scotland has played a pivotal role in making this progress, helping to make more buyers and retailers aware of our sustainable produce, but we can do even more.

    “We are determined to add value and that is not just about landing more fish, it’s about finding and keeping new markets, and impressing upon consumers across the world that our nation’s product is healthy and of outstanding quality.”

    The event was sponsored by SNP MSP David Thompson.

  • Seafood Scotland Urges Processors to 'Plan to Succeed'


    Seafood Scotland (SFS) has been awarded a contract by Scottish Enterprise to deliver an exciting new programme for fish processors called ‘Planning to Succeed’.  This promotes the development of business and management skills of leaders in the fish processing sector, and SFS urges fish processors to get involved.

    The programme will be delivered to groups of around 15 people and gives participants the opportunity to expand their networks, to explore new business models, and to benchmark against other companies – all of which will help to improve business practice.

    Managers who have participated in ‘Planning to Succeed’ groups in other food sectors have reported increased productivity, profitability and net worth as a major benefit of their participation, along with greater leadership skills, and the confidence and motivation to explore new market opportunities.

    ‘Planning to Succeed’ is delivered through a series of workshops over a 2 year programme. Participants must be committed and able to attend regularly, in order to benefit fully from its plan. The format is flexible and driven by those participating, and will focus on leadership and business management, supply chain issues, new opportunities, personnel development, effective marketing and more.  In particular it will enable participants to discuss and work through current industry challenges, with a view to finding practical solutions.

    Anyone interested in finding out further details should contact either Sarah Holmyard:sarah@seafoodscotland.org, telephone 0131 557 9344, or Ian Land, ian@seafoodscotland.org, telephone 07876 035722.


  • Seafish Industry Project Fund


    - Up to £1 million fund open to applications from entire seafood industry

    - Fund focusing on marketing, consumer and nutrition projects Seafish, the authority on seafood, is inviting those with innovative ideas to apply for grants from the 2011 Seafish Industry Project Fund worth up to £1 million.




    EMBARGOED UNTIL 12.01am 11 AUGUST 2010

    Seafish Industry Project Fund announced

    11th August 2010.

    Seafish is particularly interested in applications for grants that cover seafood marketing and consumer communication, or that promote the nutritional benefits of seafood. However, work aligning with any of the strategic themes identified by industry as crucial to promoting seafood, raising standards and improving efficiency will be eligible.

    "We’ve decided to make this announcement now because we’ve been given leave to appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the outcome of our case against British Seafoods," said Dr Paul Williams, Research Director at Seafish.

    "Having been given leave to appeal, we’re confident that we will be successful, so we want to make sure everything is in place to allow us to continue serving industry as soon as the outcome of the case is decided," Dr Williams continued.

    Following an in-depth review of its work by its industry sponsors, Seafish is proposing to work to seven themes over the next three years. The seven themes are: Health, Consumers, Standards, Environment, Information, Safety at Sea, and Regulation.

    Dr Williams said: "Projects submitted for funding should demonstrably benefit our industry under one or more of these themes. Our consultation with industry revealed that two themes in particular - Health and Consumer Concerns are of vital importance, so these are priority areas.

    "All of this year’s applications will be assessed on a value for money basis and will need to show measurable benefit to the seafood industry. Applications that

    aim to provide the greatest value to the widest industry audience will score highest."

    This year there are some fundamental changes to the way the Fund will operate. After first discussing the idea with a member of the Seafish staff, applicants will be invited to complete and submit a Concept Form (CF) that summarises the proposed work, together with a letter of support from the main industry sponsor supporting the proposed work. These will be reviewed by a Seafish Advisory Committee. Applicants requesting over £5,000, whose CFs are reviewed successfully, will be invited to submit a detailed Project Proposal Form (PPF), (full PPFs will be supplied by Seafish on an individual basis at this stage in the process). The more detailed PPFs will be subjected to a formal review process.

    Applicants should contact Seafish in the first instance for help with their proposals. For further information, see the Seafish website: www.seafish.org/funding.asp. Concept Forms can be downloaded from the Seafood Information Network (SIN) at http://sin.seafish.org/portal/site/sin/ipf/ SIN is a collaborative site which will store information and background details on all projects and requires registration see http://sin.seafish.org/portal/site/sin/

    The application period opens on 11 August 2010 and closes on 30 September 2010. Applications received after this deadline will not be accepted. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their initial applications by mid November and

    successful projects will be announced from April 2011. Successful applicants will then be contacted by a Seafish Project Manager.

    For more information on the Fund contact:

    Marcus Jacklin, Seafish m_jacklin@seafish.co.uk

    Tel: 01472 252340


    Media contact:

    Kate Doran 0131 524 8652 k_doran@seafish.co.uk

    Notes to editors:

    More information on each strategic theme can be found on the Seafish website http://www.seafish.org and contained in the Seafish consultation document, "Sustainable Seafood - Serving the Seafood Industry 2010 – 2013

    The full SIN link is: http://sin.seafish.org/portal/site/sin/menuitem.a8417573ddf44a63fa3b3c10239041a0/?mode=0

    Seafish, the authority on seafood, was founded in 1981 by an act of parliament and supports the seafood industry for a sustainable, profitable future. Our services range from research and development, economic consulting, market research and training through to account management and legislative advice for the seafood industry. www.seafish.org

  • Illegal, Unreported & Unregulated Fishing

    Seafish — the authority on seafood; Seafish e-alert


    Issue 6, 30 July 2010


    Latest News


    The IUU Regulation has been in place since 1 January 2010. However there still some outstanding issues regarding the Regulation. This e-alert covers new information and lists key background sources:


    • Letter from DG Mare Director General, Lowri Evans, re weights to be entered on catch certificates. 
    • Addendum to the EU IUU handbook. 
    • New Defra publication on weights and product codes to include in catch certificates.
    • Update on EU list of notified countries.

    NEW - Letter from DG Mare


    The Director General Lowri of DG MARE, Lowri Evans, has written to all third country authorities clarifying the current procedure for completing catch certificates. There have been some recurring issues in the application of the scheme to date, mainly concerning the weights recorded and the length of CN codes used. To ensure traceability the Commission are reminding third country authorities that the weights recorded in 'Estimated Live Weight' and/or an 'Estimated Weight to be landed' should be for the consignment to be exported and not the total catch landed. If total landed weights are recorded when only part of the landing is coming to the EU it makes it difficult for enforcement staff in Member States to try and verify the legality of the consignment. The letter adds that from 15 August 2010 consignments with catch certificates showing weights that do not match actual consignments will not be allowed into the EU. Member State authorities will make verifications accordingly. In addition the letter states that some catch certificates only show a 4 digit product code, which does not ensure sufficient traceability. As a minimum 6 digit product codes need to be entered onto the catch certificate.


    To help importers understand how this is going to work see details in the new Defra Guidance Note below.


    NEW - Addendum to EU IUU handbook


    An addendum to the EU IUU Handbook has been published. There is clarification on the following points:


    • Consignments stemming from non-vessel based fisheres do not require a catch certificate.
    • All samples of fishery products, however small, require a catch certificate.
    • The weight to be entered should cover the consignment to be exported.
    • Originals of the catch certificates always have to accompany the consignments exported to the EU (except in two circumstances, see Defra guidance).

    To view the addendum see: ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/illegal_fishing/info/handbook_addendum_en.pdf


    NEW - Defra Guidance Note on weights and product codes


    A new Defra Guidance Note has been published which details what information UK Enforcement Authorities will expect to see on catch certificates in respect of weights and product codes from 15 August 2010. With respect to weights the weight entered on the catch certificate should cover the consignment to be exported ie the weight of fish actually imported rather than the total catch landed. Importers or their agents will need to check catch certificates include the correct weights prior to submitting the documents and liaise with their suppliers in third countries re the requirements on weight declarations. With respect to product codes a minimum 6 digit code is required.


    To download a copy of the guide see: www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/fisheries/documents/fisheries/iuu-guide-weightcodes.pdf


    NEW - EU list of notified countries


    The current list is dated 4 June 2010. At this date 88 third countries had notified the Commission of their Competent Authorities. For countries that notified before 1 January 2010, the effective date of their notification is 1 January 2010. For countries that notified their Competent Authorities after 1 January 2010, the date in brackets next to the name of the country refers to the date the notification was accepted by the Commission. Only catches made from that date are authorised to be imported into the EC, when accompanied by a valid catch certificate. Russia was late notifying their Competent Authority, however their date of notification has been amended from 19 February 2010 to 13 February 2010. The most recent notification is Jamaica (11 May 2010). Notifications cannot be applied retrospectively.


    Bilateral agreements have been reached with the Faroe Islands, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Norway and Iceland.


    For the full EU list of notified countries see: ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/illegal_fishing/info/flag_state_notifications.pdf


    BACKGROUND - Guidance documents/templates for the UK


    Defra Information Note 2 www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/fisheries/documents/fisheries/iuu-infonote0912.pdf 


    A number of templates can be downloaded from the Defra IUU regulation web page including: the UK catch certificate, the  Multiple Vessel Schedule, a guidance note for completing a UK catch certificate, and the multiple certificate summary document. See: www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/fisheries/policy/iuu/iuu-regulation.htm Some of these documents can also be downloaded from the Scottish Government website www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Fisheries/Sea-Fisheries/COMPLIANCE/IUUfishing


    HM Revenue and Customs Guidance Note on IUU Catch Certificates and APEO status Customs Information Paper (10) 20 


    BACKGROUND - The EU Regulation


    EU Council Regulation legal base: 1005/2008 establishes a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing. See: EU Regulation 1005


    EU Commission implementing Regulation: 1010/2009 which contains detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation 1005/2008. See: EU Regulation 1010.


    There have been two amendments to IUU Regulations 1005/2008 and 1010/2009.




    1. Commission Regulation 86/2010 (29 January 2010) includes an updated list of seafood products that are not covered by the IUU regulations and contains documentation relating to the bilateral agreements between the Commission and Norway, the United States and New Zealand See EU Regulation 86.


    2. Commission Regulation 395/2010 of 7 May 2010 contains administrative arrangements between the Commission and Iceland, Canada and the Faroe Islands. See EU Regulation 395.


    Commission Regulation 468/2010 of 28 May 2010 establishes the EU list of vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. See EU Regulation 468.


    EU handbook provides technical advice to administrations and operators and answers the most frequent questions. See:


    For further information


    DEDICATED SEAFISH EMAIL ADDRESS - Individual concerns and questions can be sent to: iuu@seafish.co.uk


    EU IUU website: ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/external_relations/illegal_fishing_en.htm


    Defra IUU regulation website: www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/fisheries/policy/iuu/iuu-regulation.htm


    Marine Scotland IUU website: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Fisheries/Sea-Fisheries/COMPLIANCE/IUUfishing


    For further information and to download Seafish publications see the Seafish website: www.tinyurl.com/seafish-iuu


    Register for this e-alert


    Anyone receiving this e-alert direct from Seafish will automatically receive further updates. However if you would like to register for this e-alert email iuu@seafish.co.uk


    Seafish — supporting the seafood industry for a sustainable, profitable future
    Telephone (Edinburgh): 0131 558 3331 (Humberside): 01472 252 300
    On the web: www.seafish.org


    The industry's most comprehensive information source: sin.seafish.org


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  • Scottish Seafood Industry Update, July 2010

    Despite what seems to be almost weekly reports asserting that the world’s oceans are already or soon be will barren and contain no stocks of fish, Scotland’s fishermen seem to have remarkably little difficulty in continuing to catch and land superb quality fish. 

    White Fish and Shellfish
    Demand for fish has remained relatively buoyant throughout the recent recessionary period.  Sales in the UK have been maintained, and whilst the prices paid in some foreign markets have fallen back slightly, the volume of sales of shellfish and other prime species such as megrim and monkfish appear to be unaffected by the economic difficulties reported in Italy and Spain.  They may be facing difficult economic times, but they seem to be determined to continue eating the best fish and shellfish available.

    Landings of the major species in the first half of 2010 comfortably outstrip those achieved in the corresponding period of 2009. Landings of North Sea cod are up by 35% to 7,700 tonnes, while North Sea haddock landings are up to 12,500 tonnes.  The vital langoustine catch is up to over 9,500 tonnes and continues to earn valuable export revenue, whilst landings of plaice and sole have also shown significant increases.  The question now confronting industry is whether these fisheries can last until the end of the year, given the constraints imposed by the Total Allowable Catches set by the European Council of Ministers last December.

    North Sea
    The catching sector is not just restrained by limits on what they can catch, but also face restrictions on the amount of time they can spend at sea.  This year the amount of time Scottish vessels can spend fishing in the North Sea is some 10% less than last year and most white fish vessels are restricted to 120 days for the entire year.  Some vessels are now approaching that target and will have to tie up.  This will impact on the volume of deliveries to the market, and processors are particularly concerned about shortages of supply as the year end approaches, which is traditionally one of the best times in the year for selling fish. 

    Discussions are currently taking place between the catchers and processors in an attempt to avoid any disruption to supplies. 

    However, it is hoped that a “pot of days” made available to the catching sector in the North Sea through the Conservation Credits Group will be sufficient to see operations through till the end of the year. 

    Processors are also having difficulties maintaining a steady flow of product when landings at Peterhead can be <1100 one day and >6000 the next.  This also impacts on the return to fishermen.  It has been suggested by many processors that the POs need to take a long, hard look at restructuring landings, to help fishermen maximise profits from their landings.  Two short closed landing periods in the year (in September and March) have also been suggested to help eke out quota. September is traditionally a poor month for prices as the market is flooded with Icelandic fish.  What is important is that all parties need to work together because the fishermen and processors are interdependent on each other for their future, yet currently work poles apart. 

    There are also concerns that the level of effort being expended by the shellfish sector in the North Sea will need to be restrained before the end of the year.  As this segment of the fleet contains many of the smaller vessels, its activities are more prone to disruption by the weather, so a poor autumn could see a resolution of the potential problem.

    West Coast Fisheries
    Activities on the West Coast of Scotland have been severely restricted by quota cuts in the current year.  With the exception of haddock, landings of virtually every other species have fallen as a result of quota cuts imposed at the start of the year.

    Secondary pelagic processors continue to find difficulty in the retail markets due to the downward pressures on all prices.

    The pelagic industry is gearing up for the start of the North Sea herring fishery in August, now that the 2nd annual audit for MSC certification of the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG) North Sea Herring stock has gone to plan.  The audit report can be viewed on http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/north-east-atlantic/spsg-north-sea-herring/assessment-downloads.  

    The stock assessment for North Sea herring has been revised upwards from 900,000 tons to 1.3 million tons, leading to pressure for an increase in this year’s quota.  Part of the argument is that in the mid 90s when the assessment was revised downwards, the industry volunteered a 50% reduction.  At the moment this plea seems to be falling on deaf ears, but pressure is being applied through the Pelagic RAC.  Most of the focus is on next year’s management measures, as any increase must first be agreed with the EU Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee of Fisheries (STECF) and also with Norway, as the stock is jointly fished. This process is unlikely to be completed before the end of 2010.

    The Maatjes herring fishery from the North Sea is now finished. High demand for this product from Dutch processors has meant that Norwegian vessels have used quota in this market.  This has led to fewer fish for Scottish processors, which have traditionally relied on Norwegian landings at this time of year. 

    Volume is essential to keeping primary processing plants viable, so loss of tonnage is a major concern. If the Scottish fleet also loses mackerel quota, this will add to the problem.

    It is now almost impossible to sell West of Scotland herring into the main western European markets because it is not MSC certified.  The weak condition of this herring stock mitigates against a favourable MSC assessment at present, but SPSG hopes that the situation may change within the next few years.  It is encouraging that although the stock is at a low level, it is stable, and mortality has reduced since a long term management plan was introduced in 2008. 

    On the mackerel front there is an ongoing dispute over quota with Iceland, which has set itself a large TAC of 130,000 tonnes.  Traditionally Iceland has only had minor catches of mackerel.  This action has brought the country into conflict with the EU and Norway, and the EU Commission has promised to stand firm against them, warning that they are endangering the current management of mackerel stocks.   The current total allowable catch (TAC) is 572,000, the majority of which is shared between the EU and Norway

    There is real concern in industry that if no progress is made in the negotiating process, then SPSG could lose its MSC certification for mackerel or face severe cuts in quota.  Loss of MSC certification would have a major impact on mackerel sales.   The certificate was awarded in January 2009 and a new condition states that no more fish should be taken out of the stock than the scientific advice allows.  If Iceland goes ahead with its plans, the combined fisheries will exceed that advice.  Industry is actively lobbying at the highest level for a resolution to the dispute. 

    The Faroese had also talked of setting a similar high quota, but recently settled on a preliminary 14,000 tonnes.  It is believed that this precautionary level is directly linked to a recent objection by the Scottish Government (supported by the Scottish pelagic industry, the Pelagic RAC and Norway), to the MSC certification of the Faroese Pelagic Organisation (FPO) North East Atlantic mackerel stocks.

    At least 4000 tons of mackerel from Iceland has been shipped into Russia.  Quality is said to be poor, but nevertheless the concern is that the market could be softened by the additional quantities.

    UK Salmon Market
    In the period ending 30th June 2010 the value of the fresh salmon market increased year on year by 4% to £495m, and in the 12 week period by 1% to £114m. The average selling price per kilo increased by 5% to £15.68p per kilo and by the same amount in the 12 week period to £15.68p per kilo. This increase was not matched in volume terms, with the year on year market flat at 31,602 tonnes. 

    In the Multiple Sector, year on year value was up 4% and volume down 1%, while in the past 12 weeks value was flat and volume down 5%

    When taken against the total chilled fish market, this was a disappointing performance for salmon, as the chilled fish market increased year on year by 4.8% in value and 5.2% in volume.  However, salmon supplies have been restricted in the UK and this has driven up the ex factory prices.  An ongoing disease/supply situation in Chile has opened new doors for exporting to the USA, which many Scottish suppliers have tapped into.

    Prices in July to dates have been- delivered Glasgow:

                                                                      Last Year
    2 – 3kg             £4.30kg                                 £3.50kg                         + 22.8%
    3 – 4kg             £4.80kg                                 £4.00kg                         + 20.0%
    4 – 5kg             £5.00kg                                 £4.30kg                         + 16.2%
    5 – 6kg             £5.20kg                                 £4.50kg                         + 15.5%

    As a result of the limited supply situation, promotional activity has been reduced and the full extent of increased prices has yet to be fully passed on to consumers.  However, this is expected to have an adverse effect on sales.

    While salmon remains the number one species in volume terms, there is concern that sales are not matching the overall market performance. The farming sector however is very satisfied with the returns they have receiving, although they are now (mid July) beginning to come under price pressure.

    The forecast is for more fish to be harvested in August, September and October, ready for the Christmas smoking market, with cutbacks in November and December.  In general, harvest sizes have been bigger this year, as farmers gear up to supply the demand in the US for large fish. 

    Increased price levels are likely to be sustained for the foreseeable future, which presents an opening for whitefish processors to substitute supply.  This should be seen as a real opportunity for the sector.  

    Contributors:  Iain MacSween, Will Clark, Iain McFadden, Ian Gatt, Jim Gourley

  • Edinburgh chef wins Young Scottish Seafood Chef title

    An exciting cook off in the Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year Competition, saw Nico Simeone (20) from the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, beat five other finalists to claim the title.  The competition took place at the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine, Newliston.

    “I am really chuffed to win in the face of such stiff competition, and thrilled to be the Young Seafood Chef of the Year because I have a passion for seafood!” he said. Nico’s winning dishes were:

    Ceviche of mackerel, avocado puree and langoustine beignet

    Halibut with soft parmesan polenta, fricassee of asparagus, peas and morel, soft boiled quail’s egg and crisp Serrano ham

    Nico received a specially commissioned trophy and a bottle of champagne, a trip to Lyon in January 2011 to see the world’s top chefs in action at the Bocuse d’Or competition, a week’s work experience at Ondine with seafood chef Roy Brett, and the opportunity to cook a meal for the First Minister and guests at a seafood celebration dinner.   He was also presented with a Federation of Chefs Scotland Gold Medal, which is only awarded to competitors in international competition scoring more than 90 marks.

    First runner up Adam Newth, from The Seafood Restaurant, St Andrews and second runner up Stuart Ritchie, Marine Hotel, Troon, were presented with silver medals from the Federation.

    The panel of judges, headed by Ian MacDonald, St Andrew’s Links, and Vice President of the Federation of Chefs Scotland, also included Roy Brett and David Murray, Houston House.  They judged finalists on their imagination in choice of recipe ingredients, use of seasonal Scottish produce, and skill in preparation, cooking and presentation.

    “The quality of the entries was very high and it is great to see such enthusiasm for seafood cookery.  We had a difficult job today, but there was a worthy winner and I wish him luck in his career,” said Ian MacDonald.

    The six chefs cooked a seafood starter and main course dish using species chosen from a list of Scottish seafood that included salmon, Gigha halibut and mussels for one course, and mackerel, haddock and langoustine for another.

    Sarah Holmyard, Seafood Scotland Marketing Executive, said the competition had generated considerable interest from chefs in colleges, hotels and restaurants throughout the country.  “It is part of a wider package of measures designed to encourage greater consumption of Scottish seafood, and working with young chefs is an effective way to do that,” she said.   “We are delighted to welcome Nico Simeone as our new Seafood Chef of the Year and look forward to working with him over the coming months to promote sustainable Scottish seafood,” she said.

  • Seafood Scotland launches competition to find

    Seafood Scotland (SFS) today launched a search to find the ‘Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year’, with a competition aimed at chefs under 23 on 30th June 2010.  Prizes for the winner include a specially commissioned trophy; a visit to Lyon in January 2011 to attend the final of the Bocuse d’Or competition – a cook off between the world’s greatest chefs, which is featuring Scottish crab, monkfish and langoustine; a week’s work experience at Ondine under the tutelage of top seafood chef Roy Brett; plus the opportunity to cook the winning dishes at a Ministerial dinner. 

    “This is a fantastic set of prizes and we are sure it will attract a high calibre of entrants from colleges and top catering establishments across Scotland,” said Sarah Holmyard, SFS Marketing Executive. 

    The competition is in its second year and has been organised as part of a wider package of measures designed to encourage greater domestic consumption of Scottish seafood. Chefs must submit recipes for two portions of a starter and a main dish, using aquaculture species for one course (salmon, Gigha halibut and mussels) and  wild caught for the other course (mackerel, haddock, langoustine). Judges will be looking for competitors to show imagination in their choice of recipe ingredients, for use of seasonal Scottish produce, and for skill in preparation, cooking and presentation.

    The recipes will be paper judged by a panel from the Federation of Chefs Scotland, who will choose six finalists to take part in a cook-off at the end of June. 

    To give finalists a greater understanding of the seafood industry, they will be invited to join a trip to the northeast of Scotland, to experience markets, vessels and processors in action.

    The deadline for submission of entries is Friday 30th April, and full details and an entry form can be downloaded from the SFS website, www.seafoodscotland.org or from the Federation of Chefs Scotland website, www.scottishchefs.com.

    Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

    “Last year’s Young Seafood Chef of the Year attracted significant interest from all over Scotland. The competition forms part of our campaign to get more people eating fish as part of a balanced diet – it’s tasty, sustainable and delivers major health benefits.

    “The competition also recognises and encourages the skill, talent and innovation which we have in our hospitality sector. Our restaurants, hotels and cafes are an integral part of our drive to further improve our international reputation as a land of food and drink.”

  • Seafood success at Edinburgh Taste festival

    AFTER a rapturous welcome from the public last year, Seafood Scotland (SFS) doubled the size of its stand at this year’s Edinburgh Taste Festival (May 28-30) and added a new interest – a fresh Scottish fish display featuring cod, haddock, gurnard, whiting, witch, megrim, hake, squid, monkfish, saithe, langoustine, lobster, crab, mussels, whelks, clams, scallops, sea urchins and oysters.

    SFS participated in the event as part of an ongoing Scottish Government-backed “Eat More Fish” campaign.

    Chef Eadie Manson, from Adam Smith College in Fife, prepared a constant supply of Scottish seafood samples, all of which feature in a new SFS recipe book. “I wanted to show how quick and easy seafood is to prepare and cook and that it goes really well with salads, making a healthy ingredient even more healthy,” said Manson.

    SFS staff were on hand to reassure the public about the sustainable aspects of Scottish seafood supply and to explain the conservation measures currently in place.

    “The show was a huge success for us,” said SFS Marketing Executive Sarah Holmyard, who organised attendance at the event. The public got really excited about trying our new recipes and they especially loved the fish display. Most people have no idea we land so many different fish in Scotland because they rarely see them on the fish counter, or don’t know where to buy fresh, locally sourced seafood.

    “We have now printed a Scottish species guide and a list of all independent fishmongers in Scotland. This will help people to find good Scottish seafood locally and perhaps to persuade their local fishmongers and restaurants to be a bit more adventurous in their offering. 

    Top chefs Nick Nairn, Daniel Galniche, Tristan Walsh, Aldo Zilli and Roy Brett used Scottish seafood sponsored by SFS during their cookery demonstrations and were thrilled by the quality.

    SFS held 12 masterclasses over the weekend, each for about 50 people, demonstrating how to choose, prepare and fillet round and flat fish, and how to open oysters. Participants were also introduced to Scottish langoustines, which are in the final stages of the assessment process for MSC sustainable certification, and learnt how to cook, peel and enjoy them.

    Scottish author Sue Lawrence added colour to the stand when she stopped by to sign copies of her new book “Taste Ye Back”, which features plenty of fishy offerings. Sue interviewed 70 prominent Scots about their memories of childhood food and recreated recipes from celebrities as diverse as Ewan McGregor, Gordon Brown, Andy Murray and Gordon Ramsay. 

    Holmyard said: “Our bigger and better presence really paid off this year, allowing us to engage with thousands of people, to explain that Scottish seafood is sustainable, to prove that it is very tasty, and to persuade consumers to ‘Eat More Fish’ to remain in good health.”

  • Scotland seeks share of expanding global seafood market

    Date: Monday 26th April 2010

    Scotland seeks share of expanding global seafood market

    New global report boosts confidence ahead of world’s largest seafood show

    Seventeen companies exhibiting on the Scottish Pavilion at the world’s largest seafood show this week (Tuesday 27th April – Thursday 29th April) are in confident mood following the publication of an official report showing that global demand continues to rise. 

    Global seafood consumption grew from 137 million metric tons in 2006 to 140 million metric tons in 2007 and is expected to increase again to 143 million metric tons in 2008, according to a report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) published last week (Tuesday 20th April).

    More than 200 representatives from the pelagic, whitefish, shellfish and salmon sectors have travelled to the European Seafood Exposition (ESE) in Brussels, undeterred by travel disruptions following the volcano eruption in Iceland.

    Scottish seafood exports are estimated to be worth around £500 million, representing more than 62% by value of total Scottish food exports (£805 million).  Scottish vessels account for approximately 66% of the UK fleet, land roughly 70% of the UK catch, and capture the bulk of the world's langoustine supplies.  Scotland is the world's second biggest producer of farmed salmon, exporting to more than 60 international markets.

    Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead, who will visit the show, said: “Our delicious, healthy seafood is playing a pivotal role in enhancing Scotland’s reputation as a land of food and drink. ESE offers companies an excellent opportunity to target international buyers. Our finest chefs are serving delicious crab, langoustine and monkfish - the same dishes that have been selected for the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition next year. I hope that buyers will grab the bait!”

    Libby Woodhatch, chief executive of Seafood Scotland, which is hosting the Seafood Bar at ESE said: “Scottish seafood has a key role to play in leading sustainable economic growth in the food and drink sector and we anticipate a lot of interest from overseas buyers in the top quality seafood our chefs will be sampling.”

    Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO) and Scottish Quality Salmon (SQS), which is exhibiting for the first time in six years to promote Label Rouge Scottish salmon, said: “The seafood sector is Scotland’s largest food export and a major supplier to global markets. Scotland is the only significant producer of farmed salmon within the European Union where it holds a reputation for high quality, in particular for Label Rouge Scottish salmon.”

    David Smith, interim chief executive of Scottish Development International, said: "With the welcome news that there is growing global demand for seafood, it's more important than ever for Scottish seafood suppliers to attend exhibitions like ESE.

    "Thanks to similar SDI support last year, Scottish seafood companies secured around £20 million of orders at ESE and made valuable new connections with international buyers. We will continue to support this sector, to make sure that companies have the support they need to successfully compete for their share of this growing international market."

    The European Union is the world’s largest seafood market, followed by the United States and Japan.  The Scottish Government and Scotland Food & Drink have identified the food and drink sectors as key economic areas for development, especially in the export market.  The target is to increase the value of the food and drink sectors from £7.5bn to £12.5bn by 2017.

    Notes to editors: 

    1. ESE is the world’s largest seafood trade fair, featuring the stands of more than 1600 exhibiting companies and attracting buyers and sellers from 144 countries. 
    2. The 17 companies exhibiting in the Scottish Pavilion are: 

    Whitefish:  Caley Fisheries Ltd, Iceberg Ltd, J.K. Thomson

    Shellfish:  Sco-Fro Group Limited, Scotprime Seafoods Ltd

    Pelagic Fish:  International Fish Canners, Lunar Freezing and Cold Storage Company Limited, Norsea

    Salmon:  Brown Food Group (Lion Speciality), Framgord Limited, Highland Smoked Salmon (Scotland) Limited, Lighthouse Caledonia, Lossie Seafood Ltd, Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, Sea Products of Scotland Ltd, St James Smokehouse Ltd, Wester Ross Fisheries Ltd 

    3.   There is also significant additional representation from the Scottish seafood sector outside of the Scottish Pavilion.

    4.   Scottish seafood will be used for the first time in 2011 at the final of the world-renowned Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France, in an initiative promoted by Seafood Scotland.

    5.   Scottish salmon was the first non-French food to receive the highly-prized Label Rouge designation.  Sales of Label Rouge Scottish Salmon rose to 7,251 tonnes from 6,099 tonnes in 2008, with support from the Scottish Government through a European Fisheries Fund (EFF) grant.

    For further information please contact:

    Nicki Holmyard, Seafood Scotland, +44 7711 272637
    Ken Hughes, Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, +44 1738 587006 / mobile +44 7974 173739
    Danny Chalmers, Scottish Government, +44 131 244 5181
    SDI/Scottish Enterprise press office, +44 141 228 2019

  • £20m sales forecast for Scottish seafood sector

    Sector optimistic ahead of world’s largest seafood fair

    A strong Scottish contingent is heading for the world’s largest seafood show, the European Seafood Exposition (ESE) in Brussels, (27-29 April 2010), where companies exhibiting on the Scottish Pavilion expect to generate sales leads in excess of £20 million.

    A record year is forecast as demand for quality Scottish produce continues to outstrip supply.  The value of business generated from the exhibition has increased year-on-year recently, rising from £16m in 2007 to £20m in 2009.  

    Sales resulting from last year’s attendance were generated from around £400,000 of public/private investment in the Scottish Pavilion, providing a direct return to the Scottish Economy of £50 for every £1 spent.   

    Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said:“The world’s largest seafood trade fair is the perfect platform to showcase Scotland’s iconic seafood. Our fishing and aquaculture sectors have worked hard to earn a reputation for quality, and the time has come to turn these plaudits into profits. 

    “The seafood industry has played a key role in growing the value of the sector, and in this, the Year of Food and Drink, we will continue to support them and raise awareness of our mouth watering national larder.” 

    17 companies representing the pelagic, whitefish, shellfish and salmon sectors will be present on the Scottish Pavilion, including several with increased stand sizes compared with previous years.   

    Scottish Development International (SDI) is an important supporter of the seafood sector, helping companies to achieve increased overseas business and develop international links.  SDI has supported attendance at the exhibition since its inception 18 years ago, during which time more than 150 companies have benefited from assistance. 

    David Smith, interim chief executive at SDI, said:“We all know that Scotland is home to some of the most highly-acclaimed fish and seafood in the world, but in a tough economic climate it’s important to get out there and remind buyers why they should be selecting Scottish produce.

    “Scottish food and drink, and particularly Scottish seafood, is one of our biggest exports, and by supporting these companies in their efforts to grow internationally, SDI is investing in growing the Scottish economy.”

    Helping to attract international buyers to the Scottish Pavilion is a Seafood Bar, hosted by Seafood Scotland, where chefs from the Federation of Chefs Scotland expect to serve more than 15,000 samples of Scottish seafood. 

    Libby Woodhatch, chief executive of Seafood Scotland, said:“We are focusing on crab, langoustine and monkfish because they have been chosen for use by finalists in the internationally renowned Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon in January 2011.  At this competition, the world’s top chefs will vie to be No 1. 

    “The Bocuse d’Or committee’s choice of Scottish seafood for the first time in the competition’s history is an honour and a mark of respect for its quality and reputation.  We aim to reinforce this by showcasing these species to global seafood buyers at ESE.” 

    Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Quality Salmon and the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, said:“The world’s largest seafood exhibition is an ideal opportunity to showcase top of the range Label Rouge Scottish Salmon as it is the ‘can't-miss’ fair for seafood companies with aspirations for growth and opportunity. 

    “The superior quality Label Rouge Scottish Salmon is in high demand, with sales of the premium product leaping 19 per cent to record levels in 2009,” he added.  

    Paul McLaughlin, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said:"ESE is one of the best showcases of Scottish produce within any sector, anywhere in the world.  Scotland is already widely known as a Land of Food and Drink, for which our seafood and aquaculture industries must take a large portion of the credit. 

    "The Scotland Food & Drink pavilion at this superb event provides a platform to both consolidate this reputation and give individual businesses a strong presence from which they can exploit the many trading opportunities that exist. 

    "The combination of the Pavilion and the Seafood Bar, which showcases products to be used in the Bocuse D’Or next year, makes the Scottish area of ESE an exciting destination for buyers and delivers real value back to the exhibitors."

  • Scottish seafood on the school menu

    Pupils at three high schools are taking part in lessons that bring Scotland's long standing legacy with the sea into the modern day classroom, as part of the Eat More Fish campaign.

    Second year pupils at Inverkeithing High School are learning about the importance of the seafood industry to Scotland, how fish and shellfish species are caught and processed, about the route taken from sea to plate. The importance of eating fish and the role of Omega Three to maintain healthy development will also form part of the discussion.

    Watch the video

    Visiting Inverkeithing High, the second school to take part in the pilot, Fisheries Secretary, Richard Lochhead said:

    "Our seas have an abundance of rich fish stocks that provide us with a nutritious and quality food supply. We want to encourage our young people to enjoy Scotland's famous seafoods and introduce them to one of our more traditional industries. Indeed, we are proud of our fishing industry which is worth £1 billion to the Scottish economy each year.

    "As part of the successful Eat More Fish campaign, which encourages awareness and consumption of Scottish seafood, this project will reach nearly 1,000 pupils. Through discussions and tasting sessions, pupils will learn the importance of a sustainable fishing sector to our economy and our health.

    "I hope that this will open pupils' eyes to the variety of careers and jobs available in the industry and through the project they will be advised on the most appropriate subject choices required to pursue them."

    Nicki Holmyard from Seafood Scotland, who is running the project, said:

    "We are taking a complete seafood industry experience into schools in this pilot project, and receiving excellent feedback from pupils and teachers. Using interactive techniques, discussion forums, taste panels and lots of visuals, we are opening young eyes to an exciting and vibrant industry, and I am pleased that a number of pupils are already considering related careers.

    "Of equal importance is the opportunity we are giving some of them to taste seafood for the first time and understand its importance in the diet. We send them home with a goodie bag full of information and recipes, and hope they will spread the 'Eat More Fish' message on to family and friends."

  • Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group’s Atlanto Scandian

    The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group’s (SPSG) Atlanto-Scandian herring fishery has been certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard.  Herring taken from this fishery are now eligible to bear the MSC eco label.  The assessment was carried out by independent certifier Food Certification International.

    SPSG pelagic trawlers fitted with the latest refrigerated seawater tank systems catch Atlanto-Scandian herring over a large area of the northeast Atlantic.  The UK has a quota of 20,600 tonnes for 2010, which is around 1.4% of the Total Allowable Catch for the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock.  Much of this is taken in February, the main fishing season, with the remainder caught in the autumn. 

    SPSG Company Secretary, Derek Duthie said: “The Atlanto-Scandian herring fishery has become increasingly important to the Scottish pelagic industry in recent years as the large biomass has led to healthy quotas.  It is one of our top three fisheries, and for many fishermen it is their second fishery in terms of quota allowance.  SPSG mackerel and North Sea herring stocks already carry the MSC eco-label and it was important to us that Atlanto-Scandian herring achieve the same standard, to demonstrate our continued commitment to sustainable fishing.” 

    Carrying an MSC ecolabel is also an important marketing tool and allows SPSG members to compete on a level playing field with other countries’ products, particularly Norway and Denmark.  Key markets for Atlanto-Scandian herring are Russia, Ukraine and China.  

    For George West, owner/skipper of the Resolute, this stock makes up a major part of the overall quota for the family business.  “Atlanto Scandian herring is as important to us financially, as North Sea and West coast herring combined,” he explained.  “We have noticed an increase in the number of pelagic buyers insisting on MSC certification, and I am pleased that when we fish this stock in the autumn, there will be increased opportunities to sell it,” he added.   

    His sentiments are echoed by David Hutchison, owner/skipper of the Charisma.  “We have built up a good quota for the Atlanto Scandian stock and normally land it into Denmark or Norway, whichever is closest to where we are fishing.  This year, because of their commitment to MSC certification, the Danish processors would not buy our herring, so I am reassured that we will have access to this market once again,” he stated.  

    Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “This latest achievement is further recognition of the outstanding conservation efforts of Scotland’s fishermen. Congratulations to everyone involved for being awarded the gold standard of sustainability.

    “Scottish fisheries now account for around one in six of MSC certified fisheries in the North-East Atlantic, compared to just one in ten in the first half of 2008. This demonstrates real progress and is further evidence of the Scottish Government’s and Seafood Scotland’s support for fisheries that wish to pursue MSC approval.

    “With consumer demand for Scotland's delicious seafood on the increase, the future survival of our fisheries is dependent on stocks being harvested in a responsible manner. These initiatives are giving the public and retailers renewed confidence that our seafood is sustainable and caught responsibly.” 

    Andrew Mallison, Standards and Licensing Director of the MSC said: “I’m really pleased to be able to congratulate the SPSG on this latest certification. SPSG has already demonstrated its commitment to sustainable fishing practices with the certification of its mackerel and North Sea herring fisheries. The addition of the Atlanto Scandian herring fishery to their certified offering further underlines that commitment. I am sure that SPSG members will have great success meeting the high demand from buyers for MSC certified, sustainable herring.”

  • Gastronomic sailing trips showcase the best of Scottish seafood!

    Visitors to Scottish ports love to sample freshly-landed seafood, from classic haddock and chips, to moules marinieres, lobster, langoustine, crab and scallops.  And landing a top quality, sustainable product is a high priority for the country’s fishermen, who landed some 396,000 tonnes in 2008, worth more than £412 million.  

    Whilst most visitors opt for a quayside restaurant, with perhaps a splendid view of distant islands and hills, chef Laurie Mill has come up with a more adventurous way for people to sample seafood delights.  Laurie is offering two to three day ‘gastronomic cruises’ from Oban and Largs, onboard the 42ft sailing yacht Lizzie May, built in 1999 to the classic lines of a 19th Century Isles of Scilly pilot cutter.   The cruises will be ‘hands on’, with guest expected to help hoist the sails, and to work up an appetite!

    “The west coast of Scotland in particular offers a wonderful diversity of seafood, which I will be serving onboard,” he explains.   “The idea is to rendezvous with trawlers and creel boats returning with their catch, and to visit mussel and oyster producers in the local lochs.  This will allow our guests to see at first hand where their dinner comes from, and to gain an appreciation of the way the fishing industry works to provide sustainable supplies.” 

    To help make the cruises a gastronomic success, Laurie asked Seafood Scotland to help him identify local fishermen and shellfish producers.  “There is nothing so succulent as fresh seafood, which tastes quite different straight from the sea,” says Laurie`

    This restaurateur turned skipper is also a bit of a showman, and enjoys demonstrating dishes made with seafood and organic produce at farmers markets, so meal times promise to be entertaining.  “The cruises will be fun and educational, and guests are more than welcome to try their hand at preparing the day’s catch for dinner.  Who knows, as well as learning the art of sailing, they may pick up new scallop and oyster shucking prowess, or become a dab hand at preparing a crab or lobster and filleting a fish,” he laughs.

    Lonely Planet Magazine features the Lizzie May in its latest issue as one of the 10 best weekend courses for 2010, which is high praise indeed!

  • Scots Pelagic Industry on Show

    Seafood Scotland showcased Scotland and Shetland's pelagic industries to the German and Dutch Press this week, by hosting a visit of Dutch and German seafood industry journalists.

    The group toured vessels and processing units to see how the UK industry handles a fresh product from the point of catch, and were impressed by the whole operation. "Our vessels have refrigerated seawater tanks which ensure that fish quality is continually maintained until it is pumped ashore into state of the art factories for immediate processing. This is a very different system to that used in the Netherlands and Germany, where vessels deliver frozen at sea fish to onshore processing units," explains John Goodlad, director of Shetland Catch and Chair of the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG).

    A prime purpose of the visit was to discuss the current initiative to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation for Western mackerel and North Sea herring stocks as sustainable and well managed fisheries, which is being overseen by the SSPG, whose membership includes Shetland Catch and the Shetland PO. "European customers are increasingly seeking sustainably certified products and the entire pelagic industry is pleased to show its commitment to sustainable sourcing by undergoing the process of MSC accreditation," says Derek Duthie, Secretary of the SPSG.

    "This was a fascinating visit that gave us a whole new insight into the Scottish industry, especially the way the fish is handled fresh onboard the vessels and during the pumping ashore process. We hope that it may open up new business opportunities with Dutch and German retailers and wholesalers, for companies in Scotland and Shetland" said Gijsbert van der Bent of Visserijnieuws.

  • Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards 2008

    Collaboration In Supply Chains To Be Recognised In 2008 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards

    The importance of collaboration throughout the food and drink supply chain is to be recognised in Scotland's main award scheme for innovation, enterprise and quality in the food and drink industry.

    For 2008, the awards - widely acclaimed as the "Oscars" of the industry - have also dropped the description "Scottish" and will now be known as the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, reflecting the name of the industry's leadership organisation.

    The new name and category have been introduced at a time when the Scottish food and drink industry is high on the political agenda with the first steps towards a National Food Policy taken with the launch of a national discussion by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment earlier this month.

    The Collaboration Award is one of seventeen category awards which will be judged by a panel of industry experts with all entries provided with feedback from the judges. Categories include retail products, food service, international business, brand development, direct marketing, healthy eating, the environment, as well as collaboration in supply chains.

    The awards, now in their seventh year, are organised jointly and co-sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and Scottish Enterprise on behalf of Scotland Food & Drink. Other sponsors include The Grocer, Scottish Development International and the Food and Health Alliance.

    Last year's supreme winner was Benromach Organic Single Malt Whisky produced at Speyside's smallest working distillery at Forres, operated by Gordon & MacPhail of Elgin.

    Maggie McGinlay, Director of Food and Drink at Scottish Enterprise, said: "This is an exciting time for an industry worth over £7 billion to the Scottish economy. Scotland continues to have a strong reputation for its food and drink both at home and internationally and the awards recognise the drive for innovation and growth for which our industry has become known.

    "Companies are encouraged to enter the Excellence Awards, not only for product feedback, but also to gain from the increased brand awareness and market share that can stem from winning a category."

    Gareth Baird, RHASS Director with special responsibility for food and drink, added: "We have an extremely vibrant food sector in Scotland. There are many parts to the industry and as a primary producer myself, I am especially pleased that this year we are to recognise the importance of joint venture and collaboration."

    Closing date for entries is February 22. Judging of short listed products takes place in April with a presentation ceremony and dinner at The Mansfield Traquair in Edinburgh on May 8. Entry forms are available electronically from www.royalhighlandshow.org.uk, from www.scotlandfoodanddrink.org and other associated sites.


  • Scottish Skippers Scheme Launched to Great Acclaim!

    The Scottish Skippers Scheme, set up as a collaboration between a handful of top Scottish skippers, M & J Seafoods and Seafood Scotland, was launched last week (February 26th) at The Fishes in Oxford. It is a Peach Pub Co establishment with a reputation for serving fresh, seasonal food using the best of British ingredients, and an especially good choice of fresh fish. It is regularly patronised by Raymond Blanc.

    "We are trialling this new scheme for a few months exclusively with the Peach Pub Co, then rolling it out to other interested restaurant chains," explained Mike Berthet of M & J Seafoods. "The skippers hold the last day's catch fresh on ice, to ensure that our customers are guaranteed a top quality product. They agree to handle and store it with the utmost care, so that quality and taste are not compromised, and to provide restaurant customers with the best seafood Scotland has to offer," he added.

    Skippers currently in the scheme include Michael Buchan (Sustain), Peter Bruce (Budding Rose), Jimmy Buchan (Amity), Kevin West (Ryanwood) and James West (Fruitful Bough).

    At the launch, customers were treated to a first class seafood meal, prepared by head chef Corin Earland and his team. They also enjoyed short presentations from Mike Berthet, Libby Woodhatch, CEO of Seafood Scotland, and two of the skippers – Peter Bruce and James West Snr.

    "The event was a fantastic opportunity for us to speak directly to people who eat our fish and I was really impressed by the depth of their questions," said Peter. "They wanted to know about life at sea, the type of fish we catch, whether all the negative things they hear about the seas being empty are correct, and what we are doing in Scotland to put things right," he added.

    James West also enjoyed the event, and was pleased to find the diners really interested in speaking to a couple of fishermen. "We walked around the tables answering questions, chatting about our work, and putting right some misunderstandings about industry, and they seemed thrilled to have us there," he explained.

    For Lee Cash, who started the Peach Pub Company, the Scottish Skippers Scheme fits in well with his philosophy of fresh sourcing, traceability and provenance. "Getting involved in this pilot project gives us a direct link to fishermen who are catching fish in a responsible manner, and our customers really appreciate this and support our efforts," he enthused.

    Libby Woodhatch found the event extremely rewarding. "This has been a long time in the planning and I am thrilled that it has finally come together. We put a lot of effort into our supply chain work and considerable time persuading fishermen to get more involved in the wider aspects of seafood supply. Talking to chefs and restaurant customers is one way to help them understand the importance of a quality supply, and Peter and James are now happy to go back to the Northeast to spread the word," she stated.

    The project to develop the scheme was part-funded by M&J Seafoods and Seafish.

  • Seafood Scotland undertakes major survey of scallop, crab and lobster industries

    As part of its efforts to develop commercial strategies for the scallop, crab and lobster sectors, the Scottish Government has asked Seafood Scotland (SFS) to undertake an in-depth analysis of the three industries. It will include identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the Scottish catching and processing sectors, and the opportunities and threats presented by UK and overseas competitors. The Scottish industry is being surveyed by SFS staff, while a desk study of the competition is contracted to international consultants B2B.

    "This work will be steered by and fed into the newly proposed scallop and crab/lobster working groups, which come under the umbrella of the Scottish Fisheries Council," says Libby Woodhatch, CEO of SFS. "The two working groups will include the catching sector, processors, technical and scientific expertise, and the Scottish Government's Marine Directorate."

    Jess Sparks, Technical Manager of SFS and Anne Moseley, Market Development Manager, will be contacting fishermen and processors by post, telephone, on-line and in person during the next few weeks, asking for their assistance in filling out a short questionnaire. "It is important that as many people as possible give us their views on each sector, so that we can develop meaningful strategies in which grass roots opinion is taken into account," explains Jess.

    According to Libby Woodhatch, the Scottish scallop, crab and lobster sectors face a number of key issues, such as loss of market share and poor prices, together with concerns over their sustainability.. "The surveys will look at all aspects of the industries, including management, science, sustainability of stock, impacts of gear, market positioning and prices, competition, branding, toxin testing, logistics and the supply chain," she states. "The information will be collected in complete confidence and used to help us shape the future direction of the sectors, with the overall aim of making them profitable, well managed and sustainable."

  • Launch of Seafood Scotland Foreign Language Responsible Sourcing Website

    An invaluable web-based seafood information tool for European seafood buyers, retailers, consumers and journalists, will be launched at the European Seafood Exposition (ESE) on Wednesday 23rd April 2008, by Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister for Scotland.

    It has been developed by Seafood Scotland (SFS) with financial assistance from government and national agencies, to provide everyone in the seafood supply chain with up to date information on the most important commercial fish stocks for the Scottish fishing industry.

    Its translation into French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Russian, will help European buyers to understand that in choosing seafood from Scotland, they are making an environmentally sound buying choice.

    Following the launch, the First Minister will take part in a short Q&A session on the Scottish Industry and its efforts to become No 1 in fisheries conservation management in the EU. Also present and available for interview, will be a number of Scottish processors and fishermen.

    Q&A session topics could include:

    • Conservation Credits Scheme
    • Scottish fisheries moves to gain MSC accreditation
    • Responsible Fishing Scheme
    • Scottish Fisheries Council
    • Strategic plans and a future vision for Scottish fisheries
    The website is a mine of information on the latest stock and quota information, plus biology and management methods. It explains catching techniques and sets out the environmental impacts of fishing, together with mitigating factors employed by industry. Information is also available about the fisheries research institutes that work with Scottish industry, while a section on accreditation schemes summarises the methods and routes that fisheries and vessels can take to gain Marine Stewardship Council and Responsible Fishing Scheme certification.

    Market information and seasonality are covered in detail, and an eco news section provides up to date information on the work being done by industry to provide environmentally improved sources of seafood. Speaking at the launch, SFS Chairman Iain MacSween congratulated the organisation on the breadth of detail included in website. "This useful tool was put together in response to frequent requests from seafood buyers, processors and the media, to provide information on the sustainable status of Scottish seafood.

    The result is a wealth of facts, figures and information that will be updated on a regular basis, to ensure that it remains current and useful," he says.

    "This is an excellent example of collaborative working between fisherman, suppliers, scientists, government, environmentalists and ultimately consumers. The website provides a wealth of information on the sustainable status of Scottish seafood and its translation into key European languages takes account of Scotland's huge export market," states Libby Woodhatch, CEO of SFS.

    Further information from: Nicki Holmyard +44 7711 272637. nicki@seafoodscotland.org

  • Seafood Scotland Launches Foreign Language Website

    An invaluable web-based seafood information tool for European seafood buyers, retailers, consumers and journalists, was launched at the European Seafood Exposition (ESE), today, Wednesday 23rd April 2008, by Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister for Scotland.

    It was developed by Seafood Scotland (SFS) with financial assistance from government and national agencies, to provide everyone in the seafood supply chain with up to date information on the most important commercial fish stocks for the Scottish fishing industry.

    Its translation into French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Russian, will assist European buyers to understand that in choosing seafood from Scotland, they are making an environmentally sound buying choice.

    Following the launch, the First Minister took part in a short Q&A session on the Scottish Industry and its efforts to become No 1 in fisheries conservation management in the EU.

    The website is a mine of information on the latest stock and quota information, plus biology and management methods. It explains catching techniques and sets out the environmental impacts of fishing, together with mitigating factors employed by industry. Information is also available about the fisheries research institutes that work with Scottish industry, while a section on accreditation schemes summarises the methods and routes that fisheries and vessels can take to gain Marine Stewardship Council and Responsible Fishing Scheme certification.

    Market information and seasonality are covered in detail, and an eco news section provides up to date information on the work being done by industry to provide environmentally improved sources of seafood.

    Speaking at the launch, the First Minister said: Seafood Scotland's new responsible sourcing website will help us turn our assets into economic advantage. By translating information that highlights the standards Scotland's fishing fleet adhere to, buyers can be confident that Scottish product – in any language – is quality, sustainable produce."

    SFS Chairman Iain MacSween congratulated the organisation on the breadth of detail included in website. "This useful tool was put together in response to frequent requests from seafood buyers, processors and the media, to provide information on the sustainable status of Scottish seafood. The result is a wealth of facts, figures and information that will be updated on a regular basis, to ensure that it remains current and useful," he said.

    "This is an excellent example of collaborative working between fisherman, suppliers, scientists, government, environmentalists and ultimately consumers. The website provides a wealth of information on the sustainable status of Scottish seafood and its translation into key European languages takes account of Scotland's huge export market," stated Libby Woodhatch, CEO of SFS.

    Further information from: Nicki Holmyard +44 7711 272637 . nicki@seafoodscotland.org

  • Keeping exporters abreast of industrial action in Europe

    Seafood Scotland is keeping exporters fully informed about the latest industrial action in Europe, through a dedicated page on its website www.seafoodscotland.org.

    Vessels, processors and exporters are encouraged to update their information on the situation in France, Spain and Italy, on a regular basis. SFS hopes it will be particularly useful to fishermen, who may need to curtail their effort in the short-term if there is a weak market.

    "There are ongoing strikes, border closures and protest convoys in Europe, which are causing major headaches for Scottish exporters," said Anne Moseley, Business Development Manager. "By regularly updating this information with information from our European sources, we hope to assist them to keep supplies flowing, although this is proving very difficult," she added.

    CEO Libby Woodhatch said her staff were busy monitoring the situation and after responding to many requests for information, Seafood Scotland had added a page to its website for everyone to use. "We know the situation is critical for the whole supply chain and export is a vital part of the seafood industry, so we hope that by doing our bit, we can help to ease the situation," she stated. "The rising cost of fuel is a major problem for all sectors, and is an issue for which we are seeking national and international solutions. In the meantime, we hope that exporters will soon be back to 'business as usual'.

  • Scottish Fishermen at Royal Highland Show

    Scotland's biggest agricultural event might not seem the obvious place to take a group of fishermen, but Seafood Scotland begs to differ. It invited fishermen and processors to meet M & S Senior Fish Technologist Andrew Mallison at the show, and to take part in a public cookery demonstration on the M&S stand as part of its 'Catching for the Market' initiative.

    Ian Gatt, President of the SFF rolled up his sleeves and gave a hands-on demonstration on the preparation of Scottish langoustines, whilst explaining how the fishery works and detailing its value to the economy. His running commentary gave rise to plenty of questions from the floor of the crowded demonstration hall, and the finished product, grilled with garlic butter, was quickly snapped up.

    Joining Ian in the crowd, to talk to consumers, were Northeast fishermen Derek Cardno (Forever Grateful), John Buchan Snr (Ocean Venture) and Peter Bruce (Budding Rose), together with processors Ian Stephen (Lunar Seafoods) and Grahame Sinclair (Burgons of Eyemouth).

    The group enjoyed a fruitful meeting with Andrew Mallison, who outlined the profile of M&S customers and spoke of the company's commitment to product price, quality, responsible procurement and authenticity, together with its aspirations for accredited sustainable seafood supply. He said that M&S was planning to introduce British regional food promotions in the autumn and that Scottish seafood would be well represented. "We are fully committed to Scottish seafood supplies and want to build on our existing relationships with fishermen and processors, to improve the quality and sustainability of supply," he said.

    Derek Cardno found the meeting extremely useful. "It gave me an opportunity to question M & S on its supply policy, to learn what fish its customers want, and to explore new supply opportunities for pelagic fish such as herring and mackerel," he explained.

    Peter Bruce found the day gave him the chance to learn about the current and future requirements for seafood supply in M & S and to see where the Scottish industry fits into the picture. Ian Gatt enjoyed his star turn and briefly mused over the possibilities of a new career as a celebrity chef! "I believe we do not do enough work in telling restaurateurs, retailers, NGOs and the public about initiatives to make Scottish fisheries more sustainable, and this initiative allowed us to do that. We should take every opportunity to tell our story and I am grateful to Seafood Scotland for organising this event," he stated.

    Libby Woodhatch, CEO of Seafood Scotland explained that the 'Catching for the Market' initiative is ongoing and helps all sectors of the supply chain gain a better understanding of each others' roles, and fosters greater cooperation in business. "This was an excellent event and the fishermen and processors had the added benefit of a few hours at the Royal Highland Show, where just the day before, Richard Lochhead had announced the new Scottish Food and Drink Policy. We are looking forward to working with the Government on the delivery of certain aspects of this policy, demonstrating that seafood is a delicious, healthy and sustainable meal option," she said.

  • SFS support for Fishermen's Mission

    SFS support for Mission

    Alex Salmond presented a cheque for £2,500 to Royal National Mission for Deep Sea Fishermen superintendents George Shaw (l) and Murray Campbell (2nd l) on behalf of Seafood Scotland and the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, at a herring lunch in Peterhead on 7th August. The lunch was a celebration of the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG) North Sea herring stock achieving MSC accreditation.

    Also in the picture is David Linkie (r), whose photographs of fishing vessels were largely used earlier this year on the Seafood Scotland Responsible Sourcing website and the SPSG website. David kindly donated all his work and the cheque was presented in recognition of this.

    When handing over the cheque, Mr Salmond spoke of the important work the Mission carries out in fishing communities around the UK, and said it was particularly pertinent following the recent tragic deaths of three crewmen in a fishing boat fire in Fraserburgh the previous week.


  • Collaboration strengthens auld alliance

    As the drive to sell Scotland as a 'Land of Food & Drink' gathers momentum, our beef and seafood industries have joined forces for the first time to host an inward mission of top French chefs aimed at boosting exports.

    Three chefs from Toques Blanches Lyonnaises, a key importer, plus a top food journalist will arrive in Aberdeen next week for a series of visits taking in specialist beef farms and processing companies in the north east of Scotland. The group will also enjoy a seafood culinary experience using locally landed seafood.

    The group then moves on to Buckie to visit seafood businesses specialising in scampi and langoustines, and a butcher making his own black pudding and haggis.

    'Uel Morton, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland, the Scottish red meat industry's promotion and development body, said: "With the renewed focus of Scotland as a land of food and drink it makes sense for us to pool our resources and showcase both our superb beef and seafood for the French food service market.

    "We've joined forces to pull together an excellent itinerary and regular tastings of some of the finest beef and seafood that Scotland has to offer will be a major part of the experience. Combined with our other export activities, this can help Scottish red meat businesses who are rebuilding trade to the continent.

    " Anne Moseley, Business Development Manager for Seafood Scotland, said: "This visit is an exciting opportunity for Scottish seafood suppliers to demonstrate the quality and variety of seafood landed and processed locally, and we hope it will lead to new business opportunities. France is an important market for several species including Scottish langoustines, scallops, crab and lobster and we are pleased that the chefs are interested in finding out more about the source of supply."

    The two organisations will collaborate again in January when they will be exhibiting at SIRHA in Lyon, an international hotel and food trade exhibition, and the home of the gourmet chefs.

    Paul McLaughlin, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink said: "The co-hosting of this joint inward mission is a great example of collaboration between Quality Meat Scotland and Seafood Scotland and demonstrates how different parts of our industry can work together to help develop new business opportunities within our key international markets.

    "The trip will initially help raise the awareness of the our fantastic red meat and seafood sectors but it will also help build our reputation of making Scotland internationally known as a 'Land of Food & Drink'."

    The visit is timed for the 15th to the 17th September 2008.

  • Fishermen Trainees Out and About

    As part of its Seafood Fortnight activities, Seafood Scotland hosted a knowledge building day for NEFTA skill seekers new entrant fishermen, who started their course recently at Banff & Buchan college. "The aim of the day was to highlight what happens to fish and shellfish once it has left the fishing vessel, and to stress the importance of quality along the supply chain," explained SFS Environmental and Technical Manager Jess Sparks. "By showing the young fishermen the stringent quality checks that product is subjected to during processing and giving them an idea of the demands of today's seafood markets, we hope to give them an understanding of the necessity of taking good care of the catch."

    Ten recruits visited the fish market and harbour facilities in Peterhead, before enjoying a guided tour of the SFO's factory in Fraserburgh, which processes whole and tailed langoustine for the European market. They also toured International Fish Canners' premises to see the canning process from start to finish. At the RNLI Lifeboat Station in Fraserburgh, trainees met the crew, went aboard the lifeboat, and were instructed in the use of emergency pumps.

    NEFTA training manager Jim Watt, who accompanied the recruits, found the trip interesting and worthwhile. "The seafood industry has changed a lot in the past decade and it has become important for fishermen to understand the role played by each part of the supply chain and to have market knowledge. The trainees enjoyed their day and learned a lot, and we are grateful to Seafood Scotland for helping with this important aspect of the business," he said.

    The new recruits are: Gavin Bowie, Paul Buchan, Bruce Coull, Stuart Legge, Ryan McBride, William McDonald, Steven McGillivray, Liam Murray, John James Souter and James Thores.


  • Seafood Scotland hosts top French chefs

    Three chefs from the prestigious 'Toques Blanches Lyonnaises' in France, enjoyed a seafood culinary experience in the northeast of Scotland last week, hosted by Seafood Scotland as part of their Seafood Fortnight activities. 

    The visit took in a tour of Moray Seafoods' scampi processing plant, a trip to Buckie harbour to see langoustine being landed, and a Scottish seafood evening at the Seafield Arms hotel in Cullen. Crab, lobster, langoustines, scallops, hake, smoked hake from Arbroath and megrim were expertly prepared for the feast by Federation of Chefs Scotland members Maureen and Tony Jackson.

    The chefs, Christophe Marguin, Frederic Berthod and Joseph Viola, were delighted by the experience and impressed with the quality of Scottish seafood.

    Anne Moseley, Business Development Manager for Seafood Scotland, explained that the visit had been a good opportunity for the Scottish seafood industry to demonstrate the quality and variety of seafood landed and processed locally. "We will be attending the international hotel and food trade exhibition 'SIRHA' in Lyon next January and hope to meet up again with the chefs with a view to creating new business links. We are also taking Scottish fishermen and processors on a learning journey to the show as the foodservice segment is an important market for langoustines, scallops, crab and lobster and it will be a good opportunity to show the industry the importance of quality, taste and value adding," she said.

  • Jigging machines will benefit stocks and Scottish midwater fleet

    Before leaving harbour earlier this week for the resumption of the western mackerel fishery in the North Sea, every midwater trawler in northeast Scotland and Shetland fitted a computerised jigging machine and stripper which will be used by skippers to achieve accurate pre-catch sampling to avoid catching juvenile mackerel.

    The voluntary initiative, the first of its type in Europe, has been promoted by the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG), which includes representation from all Scottish pelagic catchers and processors.

    The use of jigging machines brings the two main benefits of enabling skippers from catching unwanted juvenile fish while also ensuring that boats will not use fuel unnecessarily when towing for fish they cannot market.

    The skippers of a number of Shetland based vessels have trialled the use of jigging to sample mackerel over the past year. The results were fed back to other skippers via the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association. The skippers were very pleased with the strong correlation between sample counts from catches taken when jigging and the resulting trawled catches after a skipper had decided to shoot the midwater trawl based on the information taken by the line caught sample.

    After recommending approval of the initiative, James Kerr of North East Fabricators agreed to manufacture a set of strippers for each vessel, while also placing a bulk order with Sea Gear Supplies of Orkney for Belitronic B 35000 computerised jigging machines. The vessels have financed all outlays.

    Spokesman for SPSG, Derek Duthie, said "Jigging for a sample of mackerel before deciding whether to trawl is a practical solution to the wider ongoing challenge of reducing discards of fish. I am very pleased that this skipper-led initiative has been rolled out to the entire Scottish fleet as it brings real conservation benefits to the all-important mackerel stock as well as saving fuel.

    "This is the first time such an approach has been adopted across an entire fleet and is the latest in a package of sustainability measures introduced over recent years by the Scottish pelagic industry."

    Scottish Fisheries Minister, Richard Lochhead, added, "I congratulate the Scottish pelagic sector on this excellent initiative. I am delighted to see the Scottish industry once again taking the lead in Europe on this important issue. The use of automatic jigging machines will make a significant contribution towards reducing discards and towards maintaining a sustainable and profitable Scottish pelagic sector."

  • Raymond Blanc to put more Scottish seafood on the menu!

    Following a trip to the northeast fishing industry today, Raymond Blanc OBE, one of the UK's best known and respected chefs, has declared he will put more Scottish seafood on his menu. His trip, arranged by Seafood Scotland, was aimed at dispelling myths about the state of the industry and demonstrating the many positive steps being put into place to ensure a sustainable, responsible and successful future for Scotland's fisheries, coastal communities, and ancillary local businesses.

    M Blanc, who was accompanied by Gary Jones, his head chef at the famous 2-Michelin starred Manoir aux Quat'Saisons restaurant in Oxfordshire, and Mike Berthet, Director of Fish and Seafood at M&J Seafood, was impressed by the buoyant mood and enthusiasm he found throughout the industry. "The Scottish Government, scientists and fishermen are working together to monitor the fishing industry and I have been advised by Seafood Scotland that I can look forward to putting cod, haddock and monkfish back on my menu. I am encouraged by the growing confidence in efforts to establish sustainable Scottish fisheries, especially as haddock is currently undergoing MSC assessment," he stated

    The group enjoyed a visit to Whitelink's premises in Fraserburgh to see Scottish langoustine packing, Lunar Filleting's processing plant in Peterhead to see mackerel and whitefish preparation, and NorSea Foods Ltd in Aberdeen to see kipper production. They also had onboard tours of pelagic, whitefish and shellfish vessels in Fraserburgh and Peterhead harbours, and a tour of Peterhead market followed by a local smoked haddock breakfast at the market café. 


    Over dinner at the new Buchan Braes hotel in Boddam, the VIP guests were joined by twelve local fishermen, eager to talk about their lives and sea and about the Scottish Skippers Scheme, which brings top quality fresh seafood to many of the UK's high class restaurants through M&J Seafoods. Mike Neilsen, Director of the Scottish Government Marine Directorate, gave a presentation about recent measures introduced into the Scottish fisheries sector including the Conservation Credits Scheme and the Discard Action Plan. He also spoke about the work of the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency in enforcing regulations. He pointed out that government was now working hand in hand with fishermen in a new spirit of cooperation and had reduced black fish landings to virtually zero.

    Libby Woodhatch, CEO of Seafood Scotland was pleased with the success of the visit, and confident that Raymond Blanc had received a thorough grounding in the industry. "We know that he has returned home with a positive idea of the measures being taken in Scotland to improve sustainability and quality throughout the industry, and are thrilled that he is happy to act as an ambassador for our efforts," she stated. 
  • Dubai learning journey


    Stan Vignon, Isle of Shuna Shellfish; Anne Moseley, SFS; Debbie Billington, Scot West Seafoods; Grahame Sinclair, Burgons of Eyemouth; Adam Bernard, ScoFro.

    Anne Moseley, Business Development Manager for Seafood Scotland led representatives from Scottish seafood companies on a learning journey to Dubai at the end of October, to visit the annual Seafood Show.

    As well as attending the exhibition, which proved interesting in terms of the variety of products available, the group met with importers, distributors, processors and chefs. They also visited retail stores and a fish market to gain a better understanding of the supply chain and import procedures in Dubai.

    The visitors discovered opportunities to service the fast-growing expat working community, as well as the burgeoning tourist trade. "Some very good contacts were established and two of the companies have already sent out sample orders," explained Anne Moseley. "I have now passed on my findings to the wider Scottish Seafood sector and understand that opportunities are being followed up by 2 Scottish processors, making the trip highly worthwhile," she added.

    The visit was sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Seafish and support was given from Scottish Development International.

  • EFF application forms

    You cn download all of the current EFF application forms and guidelines by clicking on the various links below. 

     Application form aquaculture 

     Scheme guidance aquaculture 

     Application form fishing port facilities 

     Scheme guidance fishing port facilities 

     Application form measures of common interest

     Scheme guidance measures of common interest

     Application form vessel modernisation 

     Scheme guidance fishing vessel moderisation

    Here is a link to the Scottish Government's website for any chnages or amendments to the application forms.


  • New faces and positions at Seafood Scotland

    Seafood Scotland (SFS) recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with Seafish, which will provide a financial support package for three years through the provision of seconded staff and administrative support. SFS in return, now acts as the delivery partner for Seafish in Scotland. Scottish Government is also contributing financial assistance towards SFS's Environmental Programme, now that Seafood Scotland has gained the status of Inter-branch Organisation (IBO) from the European Commission. The aim of an IBO is to promote 'market efficiency and responsibility through co-operation and planning', a core activity of Seafood Scotland, for which it has now gained formal recognition. 

    Secondments from Seafish include Craig Burton as Inshore Manager and Ian Land as Account Manager. Lesley Cunningham joins the team as the new Administrator and will be the first point of contact for many people telephoning the organisation.

    Bobby Kerr has been recruited as Training Advisor and will oversee delivery of the Seafish-funded Scottish Seafood Training Partnership (SSTP), a grouping comprising all the Scottish GTAs and Seafood Scotland, which will ensure provision of training to the industry across Scotland.

    Jess Sparks, who has been seconded to SFS for a number of years, has expanded his role in response to growing industry and market needs, and heads up SFS's new Environmental Programme, working with the whole supply chain and eNGOs.

    Iain MacSween, Chairman of SFS is delighted with the enhanced level of support and commitment shown by both Seafish and Scottish Government. "After a difficult few years, Seafood Scotland finally has the resources behind it to focus on giving industry the support it requires on a longer-term basis," he said.

    And finally... Libby Woodhatch is now on maternity leave and will return in September 2009. The existing SFS team is taking over her responsibilities. Please contact the office with enquiries and calls will be directed to the correct person. Tel: 0131 557 9344.

  • Supporting Industry

    Seafood Scotland notes the effort input by Scottish Government to achieve responsible and sustainable fisheries for Scotland, in particular through its Conservation Credits Scheme. Scottish Government worked closely with industry and environmental bodies to help tailor this scheme for the North Sea and Atlantic, and it is backed by WWF and the Scottish Fishermen's Federation.

    These combined efforts were recognised at the EU Fisheries Council meeting in December, where TACs and quotas for 2009 were agreed, and the closure of the West Coast fisheries averted through use of enhanced technical measures.

    The full Scottish Government release on the outcome of the December Council can be found on the following link: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2008/12/19142306

    Seafood Scotland will be working throughout 2009 with fishermen, their organisations, and government, to promote a sustainable Scottish industry to the world.

  • Young Scottish seafood chef finalists visit northeast

    The six finalists in Seafood Scotland's 'Young Seafood Chef of the year competition' landed in Peterhead on Monday 23rd June to see at first hand, how fish gets from the sea to their kitchens.

    They enjoyed a seafood dinner with representatives from the fishing industry, including John Buchan, Ocean Venture, well know from the BBC Trawlermen series, Mark Addison of the Benarkle, and Mark Buchan of the Quantus, one of the youngest skippers in the pelagic fleet.


    An early morning trip to Peterhead market left the young chefs impressed by the volume and variety of freshly landed fish, while visits onboard the 18 metre whitefish/shellfish trawler Allegiance and the 65m Quantus enabled them to see how fish are caught, handled and stored at sea to maintain quality.


    Tours of Select Shellfish, a local shellfish processing company specialising in Scottish langoustine, and GMR Seafood Ltd, which processes and smokes whitefish, herring and mackerel, completed the chefs' look at the supply chain. Their trip was topped off with a fish and chip lunch at the Dolphin café in Peterhead harbour, which uses fish fresh from the market.

    "We were delighted to welcome the young chefs to Peterhead to showcase our sustainable industry, and have encouraged them to use more fresh Scottish species on their menus," explained Jess Sparks, Environmental & Technical Manager of Seafood Scotland.


    The competition is part of a wider package of measures sponsored by Scottish Government, that are designed to encourage greater consumption of Scottish seafood, with key messages including Healthy Eating, Sustainable Supply, Responsible Fishing and Provenance.

    Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Our new seafood campaign recognises the value of fish in a balanced diet – it's great value for money and can deliver major health benefits.

    "I asked Seafood Scotland to launch a young seafood chef competition to recognise and encourage the skill, talent and innovation which we have in abundance as a nation. We will publish the successful candidates' delicious recipes on a dedicated website, providing consumers with a one stop source of advice on buying and cooking seafood.

    "And we are also working with the media and retailers to help promote seafood and demonstrate that it is a delicious, healthy, simple and cost effective option."

    The finalists fought off stiff competition to reach the final and are now preparing for the 'cook off', which takes place on 3rd July at the Edinburgh School of Food & Wine. Top prize is a specially commissioned trophy, a week's work experience with seafood chef Roy Brett, and the opportunity to cook the winning dishes at a Ministerial dinner. The chefs will be cooking a variety of species including hake, megrim, herring, crab, squid and razor clams.

  • IUU information

    Contains a table

    Latest News from Seafish

    In the light of new information being made available on IUU regulations from the EU, please find below our second update with links to key documents.

    To register to receive the e-alert email: iuu@seafish.co.uk 

  • Marine Scotland IUU information note

    Marine Scotland has recently placed an updated information note on their website, it is aimed specifically at providing further information for importers, exporters & fishermen regarding the implementation of the new EU IUU regulation.
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