THE next parliamentary review of Scotland’s salmon farming sector is to take evidence in March, April and May, it was announced today.
The wide ranging inquiry, by the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee, follows on from the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) committee’s probe into the environmental impacts of the salmon industry, which completed taking evidence this week.
The convener of the REC committee, Edward Mountain, the Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has encouraged individuals and organisations to share their views.
‘The farmed salmon industry is clearly of great significance in economic terms to Scotland, and this is an industry that plans to develop and increase production.
‘However, the industry also currently faces a variety of challenges, such as managing farmed salmon health – particularly concerning sea lice and gill disease – its environmental impact, and dealing with climate change.
‘The inquiry is an opportunity for people to voice their views and opinions on the current state of the salmon industry, opportunities for its future development, and its environmental impact.
‘In the coming months we will gather evidence from producers, processors and others directly involved in the salmon industry; environmental organisations and Scotland’s food and drink sector.
‘It’s crucial that we access the valuable knowledge, experience and expertise of everyone in Scotland with an interest in the future of the salmon industry to help shape our work in this area.’
The deadline for submitting evidence is April 27. The committee will produce a report detailing its findings once it has concluded its anticipated evidence. The ECCLR committee’s report will feed into the broader Rural Economy review.
Farmed Atlantic salmon is Scotland’s largest food export. In 2017, from January until October, almost £285 million of Scottish farmed salmon was exported to non EU countries and £234.5 million exported to EU countries – a total just over £519 million.
In 2016, 162,817 tonnes of salmon were produced in Scotland – a decrease of 8,905 tonnes (5.2 per cent) on the 2015 total. This was worth £765,239,900 by value in 2016.
Picture: Edward Mountain, convenor of the Rural Economy and Connectivity committee