Actions to increase the productivity of Scotland’s aquaculture sector and help reduce its impact on the environment have been set out in a new strategy.
The Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture includes measures that will:
The Vision will be delivered by the Scottish Government in cooperation with businesses and other stakeholders. It will also seek to harness the potential Scotland has as a coastal nation to develop its Blue Economy and create more sustainable economic and social benefit from fish, seafood and seaweed farming in the future.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:
“Scotland’s aquaculture sector is a significant contributor to our economy. Farmed salmon continues to be hugely popular in both domestic and foreign markets whilst Scottish businesses are at the very forefront of global innovation within the industry.
“We want the industry to continue to flourish whilst placing a renewed emphasis on environmental protection and community benefits. This is the defining principle of the Vision for Aquaculture and the measures that it contains are designed to achieve this.
“This work is part of our wider efforts to improve and enhance Scotland’s blue economy. It will require us to work collectively with producers, supply chain businesses and other stakeholders to respond and adapt to the nature and climate crises - ensuring the continued success of Scottish aquaculture.”
Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of Salmon Scotland said:
“We welcome this vision which puts salmon farming at the heart of the country’s economic growth plans, helping Scotland’s journey to net zero and supporting healthy diets.
“The blue economy has the potential to both increase food security at home and feed the growing global population.
“Scotland is uniquely placed to lead the way in the drive for the sustainable use of the oceans and seas, while conserving our shared environment for future generations.”
Andrew Cannon, Managing Director of Kames Fish Farming said:
“It’s encouraging there is an open dialogue between the sector and government that will enable progression to a more sustainable future for aquaculture.
“We can only really tackle these sustainability challenges, such as climate change and environmental impact, by working collectively and collaboratively, and through better education and discourse with the research institutes and public bodies.
“We hope this vision document triggers action, further than just words, within the industry.”
The Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs) aim to improve the management of inshore fisheries in the 0-6 nautical mile zone of Scottish waters, and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments.