A plan of action is urgently needed to negotiate a way to end a ban on live shellfish exports to the EU.
Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has condemned reports that the exports would continue to be banned “indefinitely” – despite assertions by government that the ban would only last until 21st April.
Since January, shellfish caught in UK waters, but not ready for human consumption, have been barred from entering the EU.
The produce were previously processed once they had reached the continent.
Mr Carmichael has now written to the Fisheries Minister requesting urgent action to negotiate an end to the ban.
Commenting on the letter, Mr Carmichael said: “An indefinite ban on live shellfish exports would be catastrophic for isles scallop catches.
“I am calling for urgent answers and action from the Fisheries Minister. The seafood industry needs a memorandum of understanding with the EU so that our businesses can have some measure of stability and confidence in their trading.
“This is yet another example of what fishermen and exporters have been saying for weeks – these are not “teething problems”, they are long-term structural issues. The Government must recognise that fact and take more serious action.”