THE convener of a Holyrood committee that produced a critical report on the salmon farming sector earlier this year has been replaced.
Graeme Dey (SNP), who oversaw proceedings by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) committee during the first salmon inquiry of the year, has handed over to Gillian Martin, also a Scottish Nationalist MSP.
Dey, now minister for veterans affairs, and the ECCLR committee heard from several anti-salmon farming activists during sessions at the Scottish parliament investigating the environmental impact of salmon farms. They did not take evidence from any fish farmers, but the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation appeared.
The ECCLR report concluded that ‘the status quo is not an option’ in Scotland’s salmon industry. The findings will be fed into the subsequent inquiry into Scottish salmon farming by the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee.
The REC took evidence from salmon farmers, academics, regulators, the angling lobby and the Rural Economy minister, Fergus Ewing, in the spring. The industry is still awaiting its report, expected this autumn.
Gillian Martin, a former college teacher who succeeded Alex Salmond as MSP for Aberdeenshire East in 2016, had to resign as a junior minister a day after being appointed in June, over inappropriate comments she made in a blog about minority groups.
Picture: Graeme Dey, the SNP member for Angus South and former ECCLR committee convener