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Orkney crab bid

Published: 9 Oct 2015 12:25

Application for Orkney Crab to be given protected status.

An application is being lodged to gain European protection for Orkney crab.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead made the announcement during a speech today (Friday) when he met with fishermen at the inshore fisheries conference.

Orkney crab is one of the foremost processors of brown crab in the UK and their application will now be subject to a national consultation in line with the rules of the protected food name scheme, which was introduced in 1994 to protect food names on the basis of geographical or traditional recipes.

Mr Lochhead said:

"Scotland is world-famous for our wonderful food and drink and Orkney crab is well known throughout the food industry for its high quality. It's great news that Orkney crab has applied for protected status which could help guarantee the quality and reputation of this iconic product.

"It is extremely important for the public to know where their food comes from. Achieving PFN status will ensure that customers from both Scotland and further afield can be guaranteed that what they are buying is genuine, high quality crab from Orkney."

Stewart Crichton of Orkney Fisherman's Society said "We've worked very hard for a number of years to build the reputation of Orkney crab, starting from our fishermen and the care and pride they take in their job, to our processing factories and our customers. Protecting the integrity of that brand is the next logical step in the process and one we're delighted to be embarking on".

Mr Lochhead also set out the Scottish Government's new inshore fisheries strategy which will improve the evidence base on which fisheries management decisions are made, streamline fisheries governance and embed inshore fisheries management into wider marine planning.

He added:

"Inshore fishing is vitally important to the Scottish economy and supports many remote communities. Our inshore fishermen provide some of the best seafood in the world and in Scotland's year of food and drink our high quality seafood is continuing to enhance its global reputation for quality and provenance with excellent prospects for continued growth.

"My ambition is to build a more sustainable, profitable and well-managed inshore fisheries sector. I want to see a healthy and productive marine environment, one where thriving fishing businesses work alongside other marine users in resilient coastal communities, and where young people view fishing as an attractive career prospect. I believe this new strategy will help set us on the road to achieving this."

Notes to editors

The Inshore Fisheries Strategy can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Sea-Fisheries/InshoreFisheries/InshoreFisheriesStrategy