Following a short trip to the North Sea fishing grounds, trawler skipper Sandy West successfully completed the first landing of 2012 of langoustines (prawns) for Buckie-based Moray Seafoods.
Skipper West and his four-man crew of Fraserburgh trawler Virtuous set off for the Fladen fishing grounds in the early hours of January 1 and after finding several good fishing marks was able to land its catch of quality langoustines three days later on January 4 into Moray Seafoods.
Waiting to welcome the delivery was Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead and MSP and Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson, along with Moray Seafoods’ managing director Victor West.
Mr Lochhead said: “Scotland’s fishermen do an amazing job, often in very difficult and dangerous circumstances, to ensure we can enjoy the finest and freshest seafood.
“By landing in Buckie, the prawns can be taken straight to the factory for processing before making their way to the nation’s dinner plates.
“Scotland’s fish and shellfish is increasingly popular overseas - recognising the high quality of the product - and made up nearly 60 per cent of all Scottish food exports in 2010, with a value of £623 million.
“So, on behalf of all Scots, I’d like to thank our skippers for their efforts and wish them a successful 2012.”
Victor West said: “We are delighted with the efforts of Sandy and his crew, and this first landing provides an excellent platform to ensure
“Moray Seafoods’ has a successful year ahead. As a business that supports many local jobs, we are totally dependent on our hardworking fishermen, which we always appreciate and respect.”
Sandy West added: “It is fantastic to make this first landing of the year and it always good to know that the langoustines landed today will soon be enjoyed on dining tables around Europe, which underlines the importance of our seafood industry to Scotland.”
Meanwhile, Mr Stevenson said: “Moray Seafoods is an important local employer and a vital part of the wider Banffshire economy so I’m delighted to be here today to give my backing to their support for quality, locally-landed langoustines.
“The quality of Scotland’s produce is a key selling-point in the drive to boost our exports.”