Industry chiefs have warned Russian sanctions on European food imports could have “extremely serious” implications for the Scots mackerel fleet processors.
Skippers at ports including Lerwick, Fraserburgh and Peterhead could lose vital sales in what is one of their biggest markets.
It is estimated exports of frozen pelagic fish to Russia – which includes mackerel and herring – are worth £17million annually.
The sanctions, which will be enforced with immediate effect, were announced by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
They ban imports of fish, meat, dairy and fruit and vegetables from the EU, US, Australia, Canada and Norway.
The move followed an announcement by President Vladimir Putin that he would retaliate over a clampdown on trade by western nations amid escalating tensions over the Ukraine crisis.
Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said the group was “extremely concerned” about the impact of the trade embargo, and urged the Scottish and UK governments to support fishermen.
He said: “Russia is a very important export market for Scottish mackerel, and the denial of access would have extremely serious implications for both mackerel fishermen and the onshore processing sector.
“The solution to this international dispute is for Russia to come to the negotiating table.”
The ban, which Mr Medvedev said would last for one year, will hit mackerel and herring fishermen hardest.
The sanctions do not include the Scotch whisky industry, whose trade with Russia is worth about £25million a year.
NFU Scotland and other organisations warned the sanctions would have a knock-on impact across European markets.
John Cox, chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association, said: “If markets are closed for countries exporting to Russia those countries will target their supplies into the UK and rest of Europe.
“Anything that changes the seafood supply and markets sends a ripple throughout the rest of the industry.”
Scotland’s food and drinks exports overall are £50.5million to Russia, which is the country’s 26th biggest export market by value.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the sanctions would only affect 1% of the nation’s food and drinks market.
She said: “The Scottish Government has made our concerns about the situation in the Ukraine clear and we fully support EU sanctions against Russia.
“Today’s action by Russia will inevitably have an impact on some sectors of our economy, most notably for our fish exporters, and the Scottish Government is in contact with the food and drink industry to assess any implications.”