We’ve had our fries: Fishmonger owners say they face sanctions over Russian cod and haddock

  • Ministers consider imposing tariffs on whitefish exports from Russia
  • Currently around 30% of UK whitefish is imported from Russia
  • Vladimir Putin’s country also controls 45% of the world whitefish market

Fish and chip shops say government sanctions on Russian cod and haddock could drive many of them out of business.

Ministers plan to impose punitive trade tariffs on the country’s whitefish exports in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Government sources said: “It is on a list of Russian products on which we have announced our intention to introduce tariffs.”

They told The Daily Telegraph: ‘There is no timetable on when we intend to introduce the tariffs, but we have made it clear that we intend to introduce them.

About 30% of UK whitefish is imported from Russia, which controls 45% of the world market.

Shortages of cod, haddock and sunflower oil – half of which are usually imported from Ukraine – have left a third of takeaways fearful of being forced to close.

Ministers plan to impose punitive trade tariffs on the country’s whitefish exports in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. (File image)

Russia - which is the world leader in cod exports and one of the biggest producers of seafood - which has been sanctioned has put a strain on the world fish market.  Pictured: Fish and chips in Leeds after a match between Leeds United and Manchester City

Russia – which is the world leader in cod exports and one of the biggest producers of seafood – which has been sanctioned has put a strain on the world fish market. Pictured: Fish and chips in Leeds after a match between Leeds United and Manchester City

National Federation of Fish Fryers chairman Andrew Crook said the new tariffs would “increase pressure on an industry which is already feeling the full force of inflationary costs”.

He added: “If they think this is the best way to pressure Putin, we have to go for it.”

“We don’t expect special treatment, but I hope the government will start listening to calls from across the hospitality industry for a long-term strategy for the sector, and part of that has to be a VAT reduction.