The success of Scotland’s food and drink strategy, of which salmon is a major part, was reaffirmed by recently published information highlighting exports of food and drink to Norway which have increased by 19 per cent over the last year, and by 251 per cent over the last 8 years.
Dr McLeod highlighted these figures ahead of her visit to meet Scotland’s key international partners in salmon aquaculture and discuss opportunities for further sustainable expansion of the sector through co-operation in areas such as the use of cleanerfish.
During her three-day visit, Dr McLeod will meet with senior executives from some of the major farmed salmon producers, as well as Elisabeth Aspaker, Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Co-ordination of Nordic Affairs, Raul Sunico Galdames, Chilean Undersecretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Matthew King, Canadian Deputy Minister, Fisheries and Oceans. Norway, Chile, Canada and Scotland are the world's top producers of farmed Atlantic salmon.
The Minister will also meet with industry experts and key players in the aquaculture industry at Trondheim’s AquaNor, one of the largest aquaculture trade shows, to promote Scottish aquaculture and encourage continued investment to exploit the excellent opportunities for Scotland to meet growing demand for salmon from around the world.
Speaking ahead of her visit, Dr McLeod said: “I am delighted to be visiting Norway to showcase Scotland’s aquaculture sector and the excellent seafood we produce on the world stage.
“Scottish food and drink is highly valued and recognised in countries across the globe for its quality and provenance.
“This visit provides the opportunity to further enhance Scotland’s global reputation of high quality, healthy and sought after seafood which is farmed to the highest standards of best practice, welfare and food hygiene.
“The aquaculture sector in Scotland is flourishing and now generates revenues of £1.75 billion across the economy and if sustainable growth targets are met, this figure will rise to well over £2 billion and support 10,000 jobs a year across Scotland, by 2020.
"I look forward to working with my Norweigian, Chilean and Canadian counterparts on ways to continue improving the sustainability of aquaculture, for example through the use of cleanerfish, and thereby to create a climate for further growth.”
Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said: “We welcome the Minister's support for fish farming and recognition of its very high standards in sustainable production.
"We share minister's hope that Scottish salmon will continue to contribute to exports, healthy diets and local economies and look forward to finding ways to see industry develop new sites.”