Highlands & Islands

Euro crisis 'risk' to Scottish shellfish sales

Scottish langoustine. Pic: Supplied by Mallaig and Northwest Fishermen's Association
Image caption Prawns have been scarce on the east coast this year

The eurozone crisis has threatened sales of shellfish from Scotland, the fishing industry in the Highlands and Islands has warned.

Continental Europe represents more than 80% of the market for Scottish prawns, scallops, crab and lobster.

Fishermen and processors hope to boost UK consumption to stabilise sales.

Mallaig and North West Fishermen's Association has secured a grant from the European Fisheries Fund to help efforts to promote the produce.

Concerns about sales to France and Spain have come in the wake of other worries about prawn fishing off the west coast.

Earlier this summer, west coast fishermen complained that trawlers from Scotland's east coast were threatening this year's fishing.

They feared the EU limit on the time vessels are permitted to fish would be reached earlier than normal and the fishery would be closed.

Last month, the Scottish government and fishermen agreed a course of action designed to relieve pressure on the fishery.

Most east crews have been barred from the west until the end of the year.

The temporary measure applies to east coast registered vessels that did not fish for more than 60 days on the west coast last year.

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