Scott responds to Ministerial Statement on Aquaculture

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has today sought assurances from Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing on fish farming regulations following a ministerial statement in Holyrood.

Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, announced sea lice monitoring and transparent reporting will become a statutory obligation with stricter limits in future. This comes as SEPA outlined a new regulatory framework designed to strengthen environmental protection and sustainable growth of the sector.

Mr Scott asked the Cabinet Secretary to ensure Scotland learns from Norway’s example and trials a similar system to filter out medicines used on farmed fish and to reject plans to introduce a feed limit to regulate farms.

The Cabinet Secretary confirmed there are discussions with Scottish regulators surrounding a similar Scottish trial mirroring the Norwegian system on medicine filters and that SEPA are having discussions on whether to move to a feed limit or retain a biomass limit on farms.

Commenting, Tavish said:

“Salmon producers are already leading on stricter self-regulation to improve the quality of their products. This announcement today will reinforce that. The industry and regulators should continue to learn from the innovative work of our Norwegian neighbours to enhance the quality and reduce the environmental impact of this fantastic product.

“The aquaculture industry has a key role in the Shetland economy. Salmon worth more than £215m is produced in the isles, supporting hundreds of high quality jobs. The industry must be supported to expand sustainably to retain and create those jobs in our most rural communities.”

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