British Seafood levy battle goes to court

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British Seafood has served legal proceedings on industry body Seafish for the recovery of levy funds it claims have been unlawfully collected over a number of years.

The fish processor, which has issued a £2m debt recovery action in the High Court, claims that Seafish is not entitled to collect levy funds on fish that has been imported into the UK other than where the UK is its first place of landing from a fishing vessel.

British Seafood CEO Mark Holyoake said he expected a favourable outcome and claimed other companies shared British Seafood's view. "I'm hoping Seafish will now act in the correct way and repay," he added.

But Seafish said it was confident in the merits of its case and that Defra would intervene in its defence. For now, it was "business as usual" added chief executive John Rutherford.

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