Worth the wait?
WE had hoped to bring you news of the long awaited Holyrood report into salmon farming in this issue, but there was still no white smoke from the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee at the time of going to press. Our efforts to discover what progress had been made were met with little enlightenment from the parliament and no answer at all from the commitee convener, Sir Edward Mountain. But we trust that the months of ‘in private’ deliberations are so protracted because the committee wants to provide the best possible template for the sustainable growth of Scotland’s valuable salmon industry.
We were reminded just how valuable this is with the publication in October of the annual production survey. This showed that Scotland produced a record volume of almost 190,000 tonnes last year, and the aquaculture industry was valued at more than £1 billion to the Scottish economy. On top of this, as Marine Harvest seawater area manager Sean Anderson writes for this month’s Industry Platform, salmon farming remains one of the most efficient food production systems, with a much smaller impact on the environment than other farmed protein.
Finally, I’m sure the industry will want to join the team at Fish Farmer in wishing the esteemed scientist, and our cherished editorial board member, Patrick Smith, a speedy recovery following a spell of poor health.