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Support For Salmon Summit

Processing Marketing Politics +3 more

SCOTLAND - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is backing calls for a Salmon Summit to discuss the issues facing the salmon industry in the Outer Hebrides. In particular, the Comhairle has emphasised that a means must be found to retaining processing jobs in the Islands.

Last week, Western Isles MP Angus Macneil and MSP Alasdair Allan announced that the Enterprise Minister Jim Mather was to look into the issue of licensing being linked to processing.

The Comhairle has called for this to be addressed as a matter of urgency, particularly in light of Lighthouse Caledonia’s imminent closure and the loss of 130 jobs.

Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell said: "It is time for the Scottish government, the industry and other interested parties to consider the issues surrounding the salmon sector in the Islands.

"We need some radical thinking and action to ensure that jobs are not lost or exported from the Outer Hebrides. As with the tweed industry, the Comhairle is willing to play its part but it is time for government to get involved and address the serious issues facing our economy."

Last week the Comhairle announced that it would go it alone if necessary in the provision of a £300k Harris Tweed Weavers fund aimed at securing a steady income for weavers.

The Comhairle had hoped the Scottish Government would assist in the scheme but that is dependent on an application for European funding. The Comhairle decided that time was critical and action was needed now.