Called the Salmon Interactions Workstream, it includes a working group to examine, as an initial task, the interactions between farmed and wild salmon, and make recommendations on how any associated impacts can be minimised.
The group will also examine the conclusions from the Parliamentary Inquiry into farmed salmon in Scotland; evaluate current Scottish Government policy and advice governing wild/farmed salmon sea lice interactions; review the existing and planned projects around these interactions; and make recommendations, including a delivery plan of agreed actions and timescales, for a future interactions approach.
The group will be chaired independently by John Goodlad, who has extensive experience across the sector and is currently Chairman of Fisheries Innovation Scotland. The membership will come from the aquaculture and wild fisheries sectors, Marine Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agencyand Scottish Natural Heritage. Both the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and Fisheries Management Scotland have welcomed the group’s establishment and remit.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “I am delighted to launch the Salmon Interactions Workstream and Working Group. John Goodlad will bring a wealth of experience to his role as Chair, and the membership of the group will ensure that industry and relevant stakeholders are well represented as we look at how we can ensure a sustainable and thriving future for both farmed and wild salmon.”
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Wild salmon is one of Scotland’s most iconic species but the sector faces significant challenges, including declining numbers. The development of this new interactions working group will therefore play a vital role in the industry’s future, providing advice on mitigating the impact of aquaculture on our wild salmon populations.”
John Goodlad, who is also a senior fisheries advisor to Prince Charles' International Sustainability Unit, added: “I welcome the opportunity to help drive forward discussions between the aquaculture and wild fishery sectors. I am very aware that both Mr Ewing and Ms Cunningham wish to see clear progress, and I already know that both sectors will be engaging with the process in a positive and enabling manner, building on the exchanges during the Parliamentary process over the last few months.”