The Scottish government has launched a plan to mitigate Russia’s food import ban on Scotland’s pelagic fishing sector.

The sector is expected to be hit hard by the ban, with about 20% of mackerel processed in Scotland - about £16m in sales - exported to Russia last year [Scottish government/Defra].

The plan calls on the sector to target new markets, grow demand and sales domestically, and investigate export insurance and the banking of fishing quotas.

Scotland’s fishing minister Richard Lochhead said it would help “protect the pelagic catching and processing sectors from any significant impact”.

The proposals will now be further developed by a working party and had “identified joint actions which could be taken by industry and government” to reduce the impact of the embargo, said Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, CEO Ian Gatt.

Convenience store retailers could also play a significant role by promoting the industry’s products, said Scottish Grocers’ Association CEO John Drummond.

“This should be seen as a potentially valuable business development opportunity in what has been a neglected sales category for convenience stores.”