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Salmon farms welcome new Councillors

UK - The new faces of Scottish political life are being invited to visit a salmon farm by the industrys trade organisation as it seeks to improve the competitiveness and value of the sector to local communities.

Sid Patten, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO), has written to all Councillors to highlight the importance of the industry to the local economy and to alert them to key areas of concern.

“Confidence is returning to the Scottish industry after several recent investments made in rural communities,” said Patten. However, he cautioned that growth and progress must keep pace with market and international trends if the Scottish industry is to continue to bring the huge economic benefits to remote, rural Scotland.

“Globally, salmon farming is making a significant contribution to meeting the growing demand for seafood, with close on half of all fish supplies now coming from farmed sources. The men and women employed in the industry on the west coast and islands are playing a significant part in helping to meet that demand.

“Despite the increasing worldwide popularity, our industry is losing global market share as other salmon producing countries are expanding production and attracting investment at a much quicker pace than Scotland,” he added.

To enhance the sector’s contribution to rural communities, the SSPO will now engage with the new politicians in a bid to ensure a long-term sustainable and profitable industry.

“We are actively seeking assistance from Councillors, MSPs and local enterprise representatives to improve the current regulatory and economic climate, with a view to encouraging increased capital investment in Scotland.

“Salmon farming is a high growth, global industry and ambitious countries are expanding their market share. Scotland must continue to improve its competitiveness to ensure the sector attracts the right level of further investment,” Patten added.