Aquaculture for all

84m: Scottish Salmon Industry Committed Together

Salmonids Economics Politics +3 more

SCOTLAND, UK - Salmon farmers have made major capital investment in excess of 84 million in the Scottish economy over the last three years as they prepare to meet the growing, global demand for high quality salmon, according to the Chairman of the industrys trade organisation as it publishes its first Annual Report.

The Highlands and Islands have been the most significant beneficiaries, attracting 96 per cent of the total capital investment, says the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO). Investment by region has been: Shetland £35m, Argyll & Bute £23m, Highland £15m, Western Isles £5m and Orkney £3m.

The level of investment has risen year-on-year from £19.5m in 2006 to £35m in 2008. However, SSPO has cautioned that the complexity of the current regulatory and planning framework does not encourage development opportunities and further investment.

Professor Phil Thomas, Chairman of Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, said: “Capital investments are crucial to the sustainability of many remote, rural areas. They help to safeguard employment and the viability of community resources. If we are to continue to attract these major investments, it is essential that the planning and regulatory system is speedier, more efficient and lighter in touch.

“Aquaculture can make a substantial and important contribution to the government’s objective of sustainable economic growth. With the demand for salmon increasing globally as people seek a healthier diet, we must continue to encourage policy decisions that support further investment. When the salmon sector performs well, many other parts of the Scottish economy benefit hugely.

“We welcome the government’s support for this objective and we will continue to work with local authorities to identify desirable sites for development,” added Professor Thomas.

Emphasising the importance of the enhancement of the Code of Good Practice for Scottish Finfish Aquaculture, Professor Thomas said: “The Code is to be revised in 2009, adding additional focus to some aspects of environmental management, as well as reflecting new regulatory developments and scientific findings.

“By maintaining high standards of production and stringent self-regulation, we hope to further enhance stakeholder confidence in the long-term value of our industry,” he added.

Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive of SSPO, added: “In these challenging economic times, a confident, growing primary food production industry is of major benefit to a small economy trading in an international market. It is our goal to be one of the leading countries in the world for sustainable production of high quality salmon. This can only be achieved with the support of government, both local and national, and other key stakeholders in the industry.”

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