News 169 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Future mapped out for Scottish aquaculture

Scottish Environment minister Michael Russell has launched a fresh start for Scotland's aquaculture industry.

He used a visit to a fish farm on Skye to launch a public consultation on the Scottish Government's Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture (SFSA).

The initiative is focused on five key areas aimed at ensuring a sustainable and profitable industry – healthier farmed fish, an improved system for new developments, less escapes from farms, better marketing and finance.

Flexible ways of working
Also being proposed are more flexible ways of working and a new direction for the Ministerial Working Group on Aquaculture, chaired by Russell.

The SFSA, first published in 2003, has been developed in partnership with the aquaculture sector and is intended to provide a framework for an economic mainstay of many rural communities.

Russell said: "Last year we produced some 140,000 tonnes of salmon worth almost £400 million (€502 million), more than the value of our catching sector.

"Our farmed rainbow and brown trout industry is also worth over £10 million (€12.6 million) and we also have a successful shellfish sector, worth more than £5 million (€6.3 million)."

He added: "It is clear, that we need to maintain a Scottish aquaculture industry that is ambitious, thriving, growing, diverse and profitable.

"However, growth must be sustainable; economically, socially and environmentally."

Related website:
•  Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture (SFSA)

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