Aquaculture for all

Deadline looms without changes in salmon farm regulation

Atlantic Salmon Regulations Socio-economics +4 more

Scottish ministers have failed to overhaul the country's salmon farming regulations in time for the one-year deadline set after the publication of the Griggs Report.

Prof Russel Griggs

His call for reform of the regulations within 12 months was accepted by the Scottish Government, but nothing has changed

10 February marks the deadline - a year after the publication of Professor Russel Griggs’ report for the Scottish Government concluded that the current set-up needs urgent change to deliver on the full potential of the blue economy, and help rural and coastal communities to thrive.

According to Griggs – whose conclusions are backed by Salmon Scotland – the consents and licensing process for salmon farmers is unnecessarily lengthy and there are several regulatory bodies involved, leading to massive planning delays and bureaucracy.

If the system is more streamlined, as recommended by Griggs and adopted in Norway, Scotland’s farm-raised salmon sector can compete with Scandinavian neighbours and deliver the sustainable growth needed to generate more for the economy, and rear one of the most nutritious foods that people can eat.

The Griggs' findings were immediately accepted by the Scottish Government, including the following recommendation: “The Scottish Government work with all parties through a project board to produce, within 12 months, a 10-year framework for each part of the aquaculture sector (finfish, shellfish, and seaweed) within which all must operate”.

On the eve of the anniversary, Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “We warmly welcomed the Griggs report and commend the ongoing personal commitment from Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon to drive the much-needed change. This is about better – not less – regulation, and we are ready to work constructively with government and regulators to deliver improvements across our shared social, economic and environmental priorities. By cutting the red tape, Scottish salmon will have an even brighter future, sustaining jobs and communities, boosting the nation’s physical and mental health, and protecting our precious marine environment. We urge the government to swiftly adopt the recommendations so that Scottish farm-raised salmon can continue to be one of our country’s greatest success stories.”

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