The UK has long imported more seafood than it exports. In 2019, according to MMO statistics, the UK imported 721,000t of sea fish, with a value of £3,457m. It exported 452,000t with a value of £2,004m – a net UK deficit of nearly £1.5bn. The Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national body representing Australia’s commercial seafood industry, has welcomed the announcement of the Australia-UK free trade agreement, which Australian fishermen say will pave the way for them to take a greater share of the UK market.

The agreement, signed shortly before Christmas by prime ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson, will guarantee tariff-free, quota-free access to the UK market for Australian seafood products.

“This announcement marks a period of renewed growth and opportunity for the Australian seafood industry, and we look forward to building strong and vibrant relationships with our UK customers,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.

“As an industry, we have been working hard over the past two years to diversify our markets to ensure we have a resilient export strategy. This announcement provides a significant leap forward in market access, which is welcomed by the industry.

“Our great Australian seafood producers will now have access to more than 65m UK consumers who value our safe, sustainably produced great Australian seafood, while UK consumers will have access to some of the greatest seafood in the world. We applaud the Australian negotiation team on an improved set of market access outcomes.

“The UK deal will create new and needed opportunities for Australia’s seafood producers in a high-value market.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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