Scottish seafood targets £30m sales

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Scottish seafood bosses targeted £30m export sales at the world’s largest seafood show in Brussels next week.

The European Seafood Exposition (ESE) from April 24 to 26 is forecast to attract over 24,000 visitors from 80 countries.

Many will pass through a Scottish Pavilion which promotes the vision of Scotland as a land of food and drink.

Seventeen companies selling salmon, whitefish, shellfish, herring and mackerel will exhibit in the Pavilion which is organised by Scottish Development International (SDI).

Furthermore, a team of Scottish chefs will serve more than 20,000 samples of Scottish produce to visitors at a seafood bar in the pavilion hosted by Seafood Scotland.

A Seafood Scotland spokesman said: “Sales in excess of £30m were anticipated from attendance at the trade show in 2011 and organisers are confident of matching this achievement in 2012 as seafood continues to perform well despite the global recession.

“This was highlighted recently when Scottish export figures for 2011 showed that fish and shellfish were the highest value food sector export, up four per cent to £648.4m.

“They also showed that overall food exports increased nine per cent year-on-year to a record £1.16bn, with fish and shellfish accounting for 56 per cent.”

Iain MacSween, Chair of Seafood Scotland, said: “Scotland lands two thirds of the UK seafood catch each year and in 2010 this amounted to 367,000 tonnes worth £435m.

“A number of Scottish fisheries including herring, haddock, langoustine, crab, lobster and mussels have achieved MSC certification, and our whitefish fleet is an acknowledged leader in Europe in innovative measures to promote sustainable fishing. “These are all achievements to celebrate but do not make us complacent and we will continue our efforts to improve the industry and to create new and innovative products to drive sales in new and emerging markets.”

Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation and Scottish Quality Salmon, said: “Exports of Scottish salmon have reached record levels two years in a row, achieving annual sales in excess of £400m.