Investment returns to salmon sector

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
5 June 2007, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND - Scottish salmon farmers are enjoying a period of renewed confidence as investment returns to the sector, according to Sid Patten, Chief Executive of Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation.

Speaking to business leaders at an event hosted by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) in Edinburgh today (Friday 1st June), he said that the Scottish industry is growing in confidence with substantial financial investment made in the business during the last six months.

“Globally, salmon farming is making a significant contribution in meeting the growing worldwide demand for seafood, with close on half of all fish supplies now coming from farmed sources,” he added.

However, Patten cautioned that growth and progress must keep pace with market and international trends if the Scottish industry is to continue to bring huge economic benefits to remote, rural communities.

“Despite the increasing worldwide demand and the recent financial investments in Scotland, our industry is losing global market share as other salmon producing countries are expanding production and attracting investment at a much quicker pace," he said.

“As the new Government recognises that the industry must benefit from ‘smart regulation’, we are hopeful of a more in-depth debate on the streamlining of the current regulatory framework. This will improve the competitiveness of the sector and help it realise its potential in what is a high growth, global industry,” he added.

To enhance the sector’s major contribution to remote, rural communities and Scotland’s economy, the SSPO will engage with new national and local political leaders. It should ensure a long-term sustainable and profitable industry.

“We will seek the backing of MSPs and Councillors of all political opinions, as well as local enterprise representatives to improve the current economic and regulatory climate with a view to encouraging increased capital investment,” Patten added.