“We note the Committee’s report into the impact of salmon farming. We welcome the Committee’s clear support for the aquaculture sector, of which salmon farming makes up 95%. We look forward to contributing to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee’s forthcoming Inquiry that will explore the industry’s potential and how to address challenges in more depth.
“Scottish salmon is known globally for its quality and locally for the important contribution it makes to Scotland’s economy. The industry has developed over the past 40 years to achieve its status as the UK’s top food export. This has been within a highly regulated production environment. The industry’s strong regulatory compliance was borne out by our regulators as part of their evidence to this Inquiry.
We recognise that marine conditions are changing and bringing new challenges to fish health and environmental management that are different to those that faced the industry’s forerunners. The sector spends around £10M per year in research and over £50M in new equipment and techniques to understand and manage health and environmental problems. However, we accept that progress must be better demonstrated and we are working with the support of the Scottish Government, SEPA and scientific bodies to make better headway.
“While the industry is ambitious to grow, we recognise that such growth must be sustainable for the long-term. Growth of farming systems must go hand in hand with environmental sustainability and the Scottish Salmon farming industry remains committed to finding solutions to ensure that it continues to provide employment and economic success for rural Scotland.”