Peterhead Fishmarket hit by boycott

There was no activity at Peterhead Fishmarket on Wednesday after fish processors staged a boycott in protest at changes to the bidding process.

The dispute centred around Peterhead Port Authority's decision to stop certain buying practices which it said were anti-competitive.

The fishmarket is traditionally a shout auction with processors bidding for fish landed. As part of this bid-sharing was often used with buyers bidding in groups rather than individually for boxes of fish.

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However, the port authority has /decided to put a stop to the practice after labelling it as ‘anti competitive’

​Processors boycotted Wednesday’s auction in protest at bidding changes.​Processors boycotted Wednesday’s auction in protest at bidding changes.
​Processors boycotted Wednesday’s auction in protest at bidding changes.

In a letter to market users, port authority chief executive Simon Brebner said: "'The measures, which have the support of the fish selling agents, are intended to ensure therefore that in the interests of all stakeholders the sales process at the fish market is conducted in a compliant manner."

The port authority claims that processors bidding for fish should not be bid sharing to achieve a better price.

The move angered many processors and they responded by boycotting the market.

The Scottish Seafood Association, which represents the majority of processors, said the situation was ongoing and declined to comment.

BBC Scotland understands it is seeking legal advice on the matter.

The Scottish White Fish Producers Association, which represents fishermen, said it was "looking for both parties to sit down to find a workable solution to what isn't an unsurmountable difference".

The market is expected to operate as normal on Thursday. It is unclear if there will be further boycotts.

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