Up­hold the code

Fish Farmer - - Contents - JENNY HJUL – ED­I­TOR

AS Fish Farmer went to press, there was still no of­fi­cial news from the Scot­tish par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into salmon farm­ing, con­ducted ear­lier this year by the Ru­ral Econ­omy and Con­nec­tiv­ity (REC) com­mit­tee. MSPs have now held five meet­ings, in pri­vate, to con­sider their re­port and we must be pa­tient. How­ever, wait­ing for their rec­om­men­da­tions has been made harder by leaks from within the REC to anti-salmon farm­ing ac­tivists. The lat­est of these (see our news story on page 4) makes grim read­ing for the in­dus­try as it sug­gests that com­mit­tee mem­bers have been will­ing to lis­ten to those cam­paign­ing to shut down this valu­able sec­tor, rather than to those who op­er­ate within it.

Of course, such sto­ries may be in­ac­cu­rate and, in any case, the com­mit­tee’s find­ings are not bind­ing. Scot­land’s fish farm­ers have al­ways been for­tu­nate to have the sup­port of their min­is­ter, Fer­gus Ewing, to grow sus­tain­ably.

But it should not go un­chal­lenged that some MSPs on the REC com­mit­tee, with their own agen­das against the growth of the in­dus­try, are in breach of the Code of Con­duct for MSPs. As they are in a po­si­tion to in­flu­ence the fu­ture course of salmon farm­ing, and of busi­nesses vi­tal to Scot­land’s econ­omy, we have a right to know who they are, and we hope the in­dus­try, through its rep­re­sen­ta­tives, will pres­sure the par­lia­ment to in­ves­ti­gate be­fore the REC re­port is pub­lished.

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