Scottish wild salmon now protected

Scottish wild salmon has joined champagne and parmesan cheese in becoming a protected product.

The fish will soon be covered by a protected geographical indication (PGI), meaning it has a particular quality attributable to its region of origin.

It means salmon caught in other countries cannot be packaged, sold or advertised as Scottish wild salmon. The ruling by the European Commission comes into effect in 20 days.

Food and drink such as gorgonzola, camembert, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Somerset cider brandy and champagne can only be labelled as such if they come from the designated region where they take their name.

To receive PGI status, an entire product must be traditionally and at least partially manufactured within the specific region to acquire its unique properties.

Scottish farmed salmon was awarded PGI status in 2004.

Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, said: "PGI status has helped to enhance the reputation of farmed salmon in major export markets.

"It is a good promotional tool and helps to protect against imitation. The benefits extend far beyond Europe as Scottish farmed salmon has now been included in the initial prestigious top 10 of quality food and drinks chosen from a list of over 3,000 European products in a pilot project between China and the European Commission.

"We hope the new award for Scottish wild salmon brings commercial success too."

Chiou mandarins from Greece, Trapani marine salt from Italy and Queso Camerano cheese from Spain also received PGIs, adding to a list of around 1,000 products which are protected by the legislation, including Scottish beef and lamb.