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Invitation to Meet Shetland Shellfish Farmers

SCOTLAND - Shetland MSP, Tavish Scott, has invited the Crown Estate to Shetland to meet the Shetland shellfish farming industry. The Crown Estate is reviewing their charges on the shellfish industry.

In a letter to Ian Grant, the Crown Estate's current Chairman and Scottish Commissioner, Tavish Scott said that local farmers are seeing prices not rising to match increased costs. "The Shetland industry needs the stability which longer leases and stable charges would bring," said Tavish Scott.

Inviting Mr Grant and his successor as Scottish Commissioner, Gareth Baird, to visit Shetland, Tavish Scott wrote: "the industry is of great importance to Shetland and Shetland's contribution to the industry is equally important to the industry.

"I therefore hope that you will understand why Seafood Shetland would like you to visit Shetland. They would like you to meet those who work in the industry to hear directly from them their ideas on how to allow the industry to develop."

Commenting on the invitation Tavish Scott said: "Shetland produces 60 per cent of the mussels farmed in Scotland. The shellfish industry employs some 100 local people, nearly half of them in full time jobs.

"Therefore the Scottish Commissioner and his successor should follow the lead of his review team and visit Shetland to hear for themselves the views of the shellfish farmers." Ruth Henderson, Chief Executive of Seafood Shetland added: "We welcome Tavish's support and consider that a visit by Ian Grant and Gareth Baird would provide an excellent opportunity to see at first hand how the industry operates and to meet those directly involved.

"It is very important that the Crown Estate has a full and clear picture before decisions on revised rental arrangements are imposed."

the Fish Site Editor

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