Scottish salmon farming looks beyond financial returns for success

Community Engagement Charter highlighted to European audience

The Scottish industry’s Community Engagement Charter took centre stage at the annual Aquaculture in Motion event in Brussels this week (Wednesday 7 December) as aquaculture producing nations heard how achieving social acceptability is vital for industry success.

The Charter is a publication which promotes the ongoing commitment of Scottish salmon producers to the communities where they farm. It highlights the deep-rooted connections developed over the last 40 years and the benefits resulting from wider community engagement.

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Leading discussions, Jamie Smith, Technical Executive for Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said:

“People have always been the foundation of salmon farming and, in return, the industry has provided a diverse range of careers backed up by a wide variety of qualifications and training.

“But people also want to see tangible benefits from having a sustainable industry operating locally – and that can mean very different things, depending on the challenges faced by each community. We need to be aware of what these are.

“As for the communities, they want to be kept informed, consulted on things that matter to them and allowed to play their part. They see great value in industries like ours that can look beyond financial returns. Collaboration with communities is the proven way forward and essential to carving out a successful path for the industry as it develops”.

The roll out of the Community Engagement Charter began in September with local launches in each of the operating areas in the West Coast and Highlands and Islands of Scotland where it has received a very warm and welcome response from local and national politicians.