On Tuesday 21 April, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment Richard Lochhead attended the SEAFOOD EXPO GLOBAL in Brussels. The EXPO is the world's largest seafood trade fair and Scotland had one of the most prominent stands there, including a seafood bar serving Scottish seafood and refreshments over all three days of the EXPO. Scottish Development International, working closely with Scottish Government, planned the pavilion with the purpose of helping to increase seafood trade and investment opportunities in priority markets.
Mr Lochhead spent time touring the Scottish Pavilion and engaging with exhibitors. He also used the occasion to meet with the Norwegian Minister for Fisheries, Elisabeth Aspaker and the Norwegian Ambassador to the EU, Niels Engelschion. Norway is an important partner for Scotland and there is a long history of positive cooperation between Scotland and Norway in the management of fisheries in the North Sea and north-east Atlantic Mr Lochhead also held meetings with Scottish fish industry bodies and hosted a well-attended Scottish reception at the Scottish Pavillion. The SEAFOOD EXPO GLOBAL provided an excellent opportunity to showcase Scottish seafood produce; and further enhance its global reputation for quality and provenance with excellent prospects for continued growth.
Active involvement in events like the SEAFOOD EXPO GLOBAL supports the internationalisation strand of Scotland’s Economic Strategy and practical delivery of the Action Plan for EU Engagement.
The EXPO followed Mr Lochhead’s attendance at the Luxembourg Agriculture and Fisheries Council on Monday 20 April. The principal item on the agenda was an agreement on the Baltic Sea Multi-Annual Plan. This decision is a big step forward in the implementation of Common Fisheries Policy reform and paves the way for adoption of a North Sea Plan, in which Scotland has a significant interest. By engaging with its European partners, including the UK Government, on this issue, the Scottish Government is working to secure investment in our rich marine resources and continue our leading role in the promotion of sustainable fisheries management in Europe.