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Scottish seafood processors demand compensation amid export chaos

Peterhead fish market
Peterhead fish market

Scottish seafood processors have called for compensation for the loss of exports worth millions of pounds after France closed its border for 48 hours.

Jimmy Buchan, chief executive of trade body the Scottish Seafood Association (SSA), said it was a “disaster” for companies that were hit hard by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in March.

Mr Buchan said: “Not just for the sake of SSA members, but for the millions who enjoy our world-class seafood across Europe, we call upon the French, at the very least, to allow perishable goods to flow.

“These few days in the run-up to Christmas are hugely busy for a lot of our members, with seafood destined for all parts of the continent going via France.”

Mr Buchan said he was staggered that French authorities were not letting drivers into the country.

He claimed they were not a health risk, and in any case could easily be tested prior to entry.

“We need urgent government compensation for the massive losses this ill-timed move by France will cause,” he added.

Donna Fordyce, chief executive of marketing body Seafood Scotland, said the French border blockade could not have come at a worse time for the industry.

She added: “The seafood sector is hanging by a thread, and this latest blow is beyond devastating.”

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