A SCOTTISH salmon trade body has called upon the next UK Government to lift red tape restrictions implemented because of Brexit.

Salmon Scotland, which represents producers, suppliers, and the industry’s supply chain, has called for whoever wins the General Election on July 4 to improve relations with the European Union to help exports.

The industry trade body has urged the next UK Government to implement electronic export health certificates (EHCs) and to remove the unnecessary paperwork associated with exporting salmon to Europe.

Salmon Scotland states the red tape is costing fish farmers an estimated £3 million every year since Brexit.

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Salmon farming is the UK’s largest food export and according to figures from the Scottish Government the industry was valued at more than £1.2 billion in 2022.

The industry body also wants to see a more “enlightened” approach when it comes to people coming to the UK to work in the industry.

They have also called for a change to key worker definitions and want a broader public message that the UK is open to people coming over to work.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, has urged the next government to work closely with the industry to achieve the true potential of the blue economy.

He said: “The Scottish salmon sector is a global success story. By growing salmon we’re growing Scotland, employing thousands of people in Scotland and generating vital wealth for our country in the form of well-paid jobs in our coastal communities and millions in taxes to fund public services.

“With the election campaign well underway, we want all parties to get behind the country’s top food export – Scottish salmon – and deliver the policies to help us grow responsibly. The policy recommendations we outline in our manifesto do just that.

“We need the next UK government to work more closely with the Edinburgh administration so that we can deliver the true potential of the blue economy, and help us to farm-raise more low carbon protein and keep Scotland and our world-renowned Scottish salmon on the global map.”

Figures show salmon farming in Scotland directly employs more than 2500 people in coastal communities in rural Scotland, with 10,000 more jobs dependent on the sector.