Welsh seafood sector facing 'grave situation' over Brexit trade disruption

Credit: PA

The Welsh seafood sector is facing a ''grave situation'' and needs urgent financial support due to disruption in trade over Brexit, Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths has said.

In a letter to the UK Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, George Eustice MP, Lesley Griffiths said uncertainty over the last minute trade deal agreed with the EU is having a ''catastrophic impact.''

She said: ''The situation has deteriorated rapidly since the end of the transition period and it is vitally important you understand some of the impacts reported to me since January 1st.

''A number of exporters have experienced difficulties in getting their product to Europe since the new trading arrangements came into force. Some of these difficulties resulted in consignments of fresh and live product becoming stranded or delayed. A number of orders went unfulfilled with high value products being spoiled, which has resulted in poor market prices due to lack of demand.''

Ms Griffiths said that some Welsh boats have made the decision not to leave port with landings down from between 72% and 98% compared to the same period last year.

She called for compensation to be made to businesses who have been left with ''insufficient time'' to understand the UK's new trade deal and implement new businesses practices.

In the letter, she also wrote that the Prime Minister had told the Liaison Committee on Wednesday 13th January that "in so far as there are delays caused by a variety of problems, we will compensate those fishing businesses".

The UK Government have yet to respond to our request for a statement.

Nerys Edwards has sent £50,000-worth of fish but is facing delays over paperwork

One fourth-generation shellfish wholesaler has sent £50,000-worth of fish to France and is in danger of having to write-off the whole load due to a paperwork anomaly.

Nerys Edwards, who runs her business alongside her daughter and two sons, said their future was hanging in the balance after the lorry load of lobsters, prawns and crabs was delayed for more than 30 hours on a lorry to Spain.