Seafood prices set to rise as cost of diesel keeps trawlers in port

Ms Macdonald told Today: “Anybody who is involved in fishing activity, where fuel is essentially your largest running cost, is really feeling the consequences of these increased fuel prices.

“People are resorting to some of the types of things they did when the Covid pandemic first hit – and we had a real impact on the demand for seafood – in that people, with their vessels, are perhaps bringing forward scheduled maintenance, trying to get some work done. 

“We certainly are hearing that some vessels are taking the decision to actually not fish at the moment because of the impact on profitability. And that’s particularly true of prawn vessels, scallop vessels and some of the white fish fleet.”

She called on the Government to step in and provide support, adding: “We’re all feeling the pressures of the cost-of-living increases but we want to make sure we have still got a viable industry when the crisis passes.”

Fishermen in Shetland have also sounded the alarm, with the local fishing association recently warning that crews had been “forced to consider tying up, taking wage cuts, or being let go altogether until vessels become viable again”. 

They have argued that low quotas for cod despite an abundance of the fish are also forcing crews to “fish less efficiently” and use more fuel, compounding the crisis.

Elsewhere, one Kent fisherman became so frustrated with the rising cost of red diesel last month that he hauled his boat ashore and transported it to a petrol station on the back of a lorry, so he could fill up with “white” diesel.

Chris Attenborough, of Herne Bay, claimed he was able to make savings of up to 70p a litre by doing so, once he reclaims road duty and VAT, instead of waiting for deliveries of red diesel to Whitstable harbour. 

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