What’s happening in aquaculture in the UK and around the world
THE Holyrood inquiry into the future of salmon farming in Scotland will demand extensive changes to how the industry is regulated, according to a report in the Sunday Post on September 30.
Quoting a source close to the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee, which conducted the probe, the Post reported that MSPs are concerned about the industry’s complex regulatory regime.
The source said:‘The current situation creates confusion, with lots of different regulations and various enforcement agencies struggling to cope with the industry’s expansion.’
The committee is expected to call for tougher regulations
to cut down on waste pollution from farms, the number of sea lice cases and harm to wild salmon.
But MSPs will leave it up to the Scottish government, working in conjunction with the industry, to achieve such outcomes.
The REC committee,
which finished taking evidence from interested parties, including salmon farmers and anti-farming campaigners, in May, has now met four times in private to discuss its findings.
There has been no word, officially, of how the deliberations are going, but they were described as ‘passionate’ by a parliamentary spokesman.
However, at least one MSP on the REC committee appears to have been leaking information from the private sessions to anti-salmon farming campaigners.
Asked by Fish Farmer to confirm whether the latest leak was accurate or not, a Scottish parliamentary spokesperson said:‘Committees do not comment on leaks of draft reports or other issues discussed in private meetings.The leaking of such material is a breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs.’
Meanwhile, a motion lodged by Green MSP Mark Ruskell calls on the Scottish government to support a moratorium on the expansion of salmon farming ‘until the industry can guarantee that farmed salmon have a good life that is worth living’.
The government is committed to growing the salmon farming industry, which is worth £1.8 billion and sup- ports thousands of jobs.
The rural economy minister, Fergus Ewing, has again pledged his support for the sector, assuring farmers in Orkney last month that he would continue fighting for them. He said he and the government would offer ‘every support we can to deal with the detractors, to get the positives across, and together see even greater success in the future’.
The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said: ‘We are awaiting with interest the report from the Rural Economy committee and will study its recommendations carefully. We will reserve comment until the report is published.’
Above: Farmed salmon - under investigation