Shellfish industry suffers as quality produce rots in standstill lorries
THE WEST Coast fishing industry is reeling from the shock waves of the crisis at Calais, which is costing it millions of pounds in lost revenue.
Thousands of migrant workers have been laying siege to the ferry terminal at the French seaport in a desperate bid to board lorries travelling to the UK.
Tailbacks of lorries at Dover waiting to cross the channel has now turned miles of Kent into an extended lorry park.
This has proved disastrous for the West Coast seafood and shellfish industry as millions of pounds worth of perishable produce is now being spoiled before it reaches high-paying European customers in France, Italy and Spain.
Possible alternative routes or modes of transport will be discussed by key figures from the seafood, fishing and transport sectors.
Scottish seafood exports to Europe are reckoned to be worth more than £450 million a year.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said the situation at the French port is costing businesses millions of pounds a week.
Richard Lochhead, the Scottish government’s fisheries secretary, said Scottish seafood producers were being disproportionately affected by the disruption caused by the mayhem at Calais.
He said: ‘ The situation in Calais is clearly complex and requires a multi-agency response involving both the UK government and the French authorities.
‘The Scottish government continues to urge the UK government to play its part in a co- ordinated a comprehensive EU plan of action to deal with the migrant crisis.
‘We also need action to address the immediate issue around getting vehicles and exports moving again.’