Scot­land could scrap biomass lim­its

Fish Farmer - - News -

BIOMASS lim­its on Scot­tish fish farms could be scrapped if pro­pos­als by Sepa (the Scot­tish En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency) are ap­proved.

Sepa is due to launch a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion in the next few weeks on how it reg­u­lates fish farm­ing, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sub­mis­sion the agency made to the Scot­tish par­lia­ment. This will in­clude plans to drop biomass lim­its.

The pro­pos­als fol­low the launch of the in­dus­try’s vi­sion for growth late last year, which would see the coun­try’s aqua­cul­ture sec­tor dou­ble pro­duc­tion by 2030 and in­crease its value to the Scot­tish econ­omy from around £1.8 bil­lion to £3.6 bil­lion.

The plan – pub­lished in the Vi­sion 2030 re­port in Oc­to­ber - was backed by the Scot­tish gov­ern­ment, which promised to set up an ‘in­dus­try lead­er­ship group’.

Sepa said the aim was to en­sure that ‘the reg­u­la­tory frame­work more closely matches the growth agenda pur­sued by the in­dus­try by re­mov­ing im­po­si­tion of a limit on biomass’.

This would en­able op­er­a­tors ‘to in­crease biomass where en­vi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing de­mon- strates that the lo­ca­tion is able to cope’, and it would put re­spon­si­bil­ity for day-to-day man­age­ment of sites into the hands of ‘re­spon­si­ble fish farm­ers’.

En­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paign­ers, how­ever, say the move would in­crease dis­ease, worsen pol­lu­tion and harm wild fish.

Above: Per­mis­sion to grow

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