Fisheries report clouds “forecast” for Scottish salmon


Brexit could result higher seafood prices on both sides of the English Channel, if the EU imposes tariffs on prepared whitefish destined for Britain and the UK retaliates, a Rabobank report warns.

Should the UK leave the European Union without a free-trade deal, then the price of processed and prepared whitefish — the stuff of English favourite, fish-and-chips —  could face export tariffs of as much as 18 percent on retail- and food-service varieties.

Parts of Fishing for Answers, a Rabobank report on UK fisheries scenarios, were posted on a British Telecom Web page and warn of potential ill effects for the sector. The report suggests Britain would have to agree free-trade deals with Iceland, its largest supplier of whitefish, plus Norway, the Faroe Islands and the EU —  collectively the source of half of all whitefish imports to the UK — in order to keep prices of the prized protein supply down.

While Ireland and the UK have seen surging salmon demand — with salmon topping cod as the Britannic favourite in recent months — London could impose export tariffs on Scottish salmon products destined for France should the GBP 100 million in preserved fish from the EU be made to carry a tariff. On their own, the resulting higher whitefish prices could mean less domestic UK demand for whitefish and more demand for other seafood sources like salmon.

“This tit-for-tat would likely result in consumers paying more for the most popular seafood and fish products both in Britain and the EU,” the Rabobank report concludes.

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