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Scottish fish exports up 43% in five years

Fish exports from Scotland were worth £1.1bn in 2018, a 43% increase on five years ago, according to the latest figures by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The data shows China is Scotland’s top destination for fish exports outside of the EU and third largest destination in the world. In 2018, fish exports from Scotland to China were worth £97m. Meanwhile, the USA is the fourth largest destination for Scottish fish, with exports worth £89.5m last year.

Latest HMRC regional statistics also show that goods exports from Scotland grew faster than any other part of the UK in the year to March 2019, now worth £32.8bn.

International trade secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “Today we celebrate our fishermen and all food producers selling some of the best ingredients, whether that’s fish, potatoes, salt or vinegar. The demand for UK produce has never been greater.

“Scottish fish businesses are contributing to the UK’s reputation for high quality products overseas and taking advantage of the growing global appetite for our food.

“The UK now has an international economic department – the Department for International Trade – helping British business succeed abroad in ways that never happened before, and I urge more Scottish food and drink businesses to consider breaking into international markets or expanding their global reach.”

The Scottish fishing industry is not only seeing success in exports of white fish but also luxury seafood such as langoustines.

One company benefiting from the boost in Scotland’s fish industry is seafood family business JK Thomson. Established over 60 years ago, the Musselburgh-based company delivers fresh and frozen seafood all over Scotland, including fish and chip shop Cromars in St Andrews.

Paul Thomson, partner at JK Thomson, said: "We are proud to be a fourth-generation family business, with six of our children now working in different areas of the company.

“We are excited about the potential there is for the next generation to enter new markets abroad and continue providing our high-quality Scottish fish to customers at home and all over the world.”

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