Speaking anonymously to online seafood news site Undercurrent News, a Tesco insider appears to have confirmed that the company is following its removal of Russian fish from its remaining fresh counters and fresh fish products with a complete ban on Russian fish in its own-label frozen ranges.

The leak comes just two weeks before the full USA ban on Russian seafood imports, signed off by President Biden in 2023, takes full effect. The delay in implementation was designed to allow existing stocks of Russian seafoods in US warehouses to be run down.

The Tesco ban will likewise take many months to filter through to supermarket shelves, though it is expected that all Russian content will be eliminated before the end of the year.

The company is working hard to prevent the move seeing price increases passed on to consumers. The US and other bans have already seen the price of Russian headed and gutted cod drop to around $2,000 a tonne below identical Norwegian product, giving unscrupulous UK importers a price advantage.

The move by Tesco is likely to see increased calls for a level playing field across the UK seafood market, with the government stepping in to apply the ban officially, including extending this to Russian products processed in third countries such as China.

The industry expectation, however, is that the government will be reluctant to apply any rules that will add to food price inflation, especially coming so shortly after the recent imposition of import inspection fees on foods imported from the EU.

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

Sign up to Fishing News’ FREE e-newsletter here


Subscribe to Fishing News magazine today; never miss an issue and save 55%!