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Critical mass sought for mussel farming

Production systems Mussels Politics +4 more

A commercially viable pilot plan for developing mussel farming in Scotland has taken a step forward.

A consortium of Maritek and Ironside Farrar has been selected to carry out the second stage of the Shellfish Critical Mass Project, following a rigorous tendering process.

Jointly set up by Crown Estate Scotland, the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers (ASSG) and Marine Scotland, the project plans to look at how the future development of the sector can be supported.

The announcement was made by Amanda Bryan at the ASSG's annual conference today

The Clyde has been selected to host the project as an area that is distinct, and which already has a good network of organisations who have contributed a great deal of local knowledge and research.

Alex Adrian, Aquaculture Operations Manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: ‘If the first stage of the Critical Mass Project was the theory, this is where we get to see the practical results. Shellfish harvesting has the potential to be a big success story for Scotland with the right support. By working closely with the industry, government and others, Crown Estate Scotland hope we can help pave the way for future development.”

Referencing the project during her opening speech to the ASSG's conference in Oban today, Crown Estate Scotland Chair Amanda Bryan outlined what the project aims to deliver.

She said: “This project will deliver a framework that can serve a similar purpose in other areas.

“We are looking for two distinct elements. Firstly, a plan for mussel farming in the Clyde marine region which provides ‘investment-ready’ detail on location, scale and operational criteria for commercial development. One that includes a financial justification – as well as meeting legal and stakeholder requirements and interests. Secondly, a process framework that can be used as a template elsewhere in Scotland.”