NEW markets for Scottish mackerel exports in Asia and west Africa are to be explored in response to Russia's food export ban.

The ban covers imports from countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Poultry, pork, fish, dairy and vegetables are among the products banned.

The Scottish mackerel industry is expected to be one of the worst affected with around 20 per cent of the fish processed in Scotland, worth £16 million, formerly exported to Russia.

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The Scottish and UK governments and the European Commission have all pledged their support for the industry.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead met with industry bodies earlier this week.