| 8.4°C Belfast

New Chinese export deal nets Northern Ireland prawn market £5.3m

Northern Ireland's fishing sector is set to benefit from a £5.3m export boost following a new trade agreement between the UK and China.

The deal, which will allow the export of live langoustines, also known as Dublin Bay prawns, will also see the Scottish fishing market receive an exports lift.

According to the Department for International Trade (DIT), the deal will see UK exports of langoustines reach a total value of £18.5m to £26.5m over the next five years.

It will also see the UK become one of only two countries granted access to the Chinese market.

The decision was made following work by DIT and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), with support from the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB).

It has been deemed "an important milestone".

International trade secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: "This agreement shows clear demand for the world-class quality of British seafood.

"With the UK's total exports of langoustines valued at over £100m, gaining access to the Chinese market for our shellfish industry, our sixth largest overall export market, is a significant win for the UK.

"This is a key milestone for the sector and demonstrates the great work my international economic department is doing to deliver enhanced market access for a variety of British produce.

"Now more than ever UK businesses should be exploring opportunities for selling their products overseas. Today's announcement is just once example of the opportunities available for British businesses looking to grow beyond Europe."

Dublin Bay prawns represent the greatest commercial value in Europe within the wider crustacean family.

Northern Ireland langoustines are caught in the deep sea fishing waters in the Irish Sea and the North East Atlantic. They are processed in Kilkeel.

Belfast Telegraph