IN this issue we focus on the training and education of the next generation of aquaculture professionals, looking at the current provision of courses and what skills might be needed in the future. What is clear is the high calibre of entrants, either taking their first steps in the industry or embracing cutting edge research in our renowned academic institutions.
Those who remain based in Scotland will be at the forefront of any changes to the way the sector operates here, and therefore it is crucial that today’s leaders safeguard the industry on their behalf. This should be straightforward, given the value of aquaculture to the Scottish economy and its role as a major rural employer.
But as a second parliamentary inquiry into salmon farming gets underway this month, we are reminded that there is strong opposition not just to the growth but the existence of aquaculture. There will be no placating the vocal minority who believe fish should not be reared in the sea, but we do urge all politicians now investigating Scotland’s salmon production to do so with open minds.
We ask that they take up invitations to visit farms, find out for themselves how they work, and talk to farmers, instead of relying on second hand propaganda. Hopefully, they will then be suitably informed when making pronouncements that could affect our young people’s prospects.