It is six months since Brexit, and the results are persevering with to influence the Scottish fishing trade.
From lorries crammed with langoustines caught on the ports earlier than Christmas, to Nicola Sturgeon accusing the UK Authorities of “promoting out” the trade, it has been a rocky few months for Scottish fishing; and that is with out mentioning the Covid pandemic.
Brexit has arguably not been type to Scotland’s fishing trade, however why precisely is that this and what are the lengthy lasting impacts?
Why has Scottish fishing been impacted negatively by Brexit?
Previous to the Brexit coming into impact, between 2016 and 2019 three quarters of all Scotland’s seafood exports went to the EU, amassing to as much as £700 million in gross sales.
Nonetheless, since we formally left the EU, exporting seafood to the continent has change into a lot tougher.
The UK is now not inside the EU’s customs union, that means there at the moment are extra checks carried out on the lorries getting into the EU, which might trigger intensive delays.
Additional including to delays are issues with documentation, which is complicated and takes a very long time to fill out – one supply can require as much as 80 pages in comparison with the easy one web page supply be aware and bill that went with shippings pre-Brexit.
Any delay shouldn’t be good news for seafood, however significantly shellfish like lobsters, prawns and crabs which perish rapidly; delays of as much as 30-hours have meant that hundreds of kilos price of inventory has needed to be discarded, costing companies extortionate quantities of cash.
In the end it implies that sending seafood to the EU is now way more costly and that for a lot of companies, gross sales and earnings are in decline.
Why does it price a lot extra to ship fish to the EU now?
Filling out the extra admin can take hours of time each morning and a few companies have been required to rent additional workers to tackle the work, which might price £30-40,000 per 12 months.
Some companies are additionally required to rent a customs agent who offers with the paperwork on the import facet, which might price as much as £51,000 per 12 months.
Delays imply that produce can perish, with one lorry alone costing companies hundreds of kilos.
Earlier than Christmas when delays meant that shipments to France could not go forward, fish costs within the UK plummeted as sellers desperately tried to shift produce by slashing costs.
How are companies adapting to the brand new circumstances?
Some Scottish buisnesses are turning to Asia to promote their produce, with transport to locations corresponding to Taiwan and Hong Kong typically a less expensive and faster possibility than the EU.