Parliamentary Committee to scrutinise the farmed salmon industry in Scotland

08.02.2018

The future of Scotland’s farmed salmon industry will come under the scrutiny of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee as it encourages individuals and organisations to share their views as part of its upcoming inquiry.Salmon farm

Convener of the Committee, Edward Mountain MSP commented:

“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 Convener continued:

“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 to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee is 27 April. The Committee will produce a report detailing its findings once it has concluded its anticipated evidence taking in March, April and May.

Background

  • The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee is conducting a related inquiry into the environmental impacts of salmon farming which commenced with a call for views on 25 January 2018. The outcome of this work will be a report to Holyrood’s Rural Economy and Connectivity to inform its inquiry on the farmed salmon industry in Scotland.
  • 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%) on the 2015 total. This was worth £765,239,900 by value in 2016.
  • Comprehensive background to the salmon industry in Scotland, including the fish health and environmental issues it is currently facing, can be found in the recently produced SPICe briefing on Salmon Farming in Scotland.

The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee scrutinises policy proposals relating to rural affairs, transport and connectivity. It comes to a view after taking comprehensive evidence from, and engaging with, a wide range of stakeholders ‘on the frontline’ and applies authoritative, expert, effective and influential scrutiny to policy.

Photographs of the Committee and Convener are available free of charge.

Inquiry into Salmon Farming in Scotland: Call for Evidence

The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee invites all interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence to its inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland.

During the inquiry, the Committee intends to:

  • gather information on the current state of the industry;
  • identify opportunities for its future development; and
  • explore how the various fish health, environmental and other challenges it currently faces can be addressed.

The Committee would like to hear your views on the following questions:
1. Do you have any general views on the current state of the farmed salmon industry in Scotland?

2. There have been several recent reports[1] which suggest how the farmed salmon industry might be developed. Do you have any views on action that might be taken to help the sector grow in the future?

3. The farmed salmon industry is currently managing a range of fish health and environmental challenges. Do you have any views on how these might be addressed?

4. Do you feel that the current national collection of data on salmon operations and fish health and related matters is adequate?

5. Do you have any views on whether the regulatory regime which applies to the farmed salmon industry is sufficiently robust?

6. Do you have any comments on how the UK’s departure from the European Union might impact on the farmed salmon sector?

Please feel free to answer some or all of these questions or focus your answer on other areas of particular interest to you or your organisation that are relevant to the Committee’s inquiry.

How to submit your evidence

Before making a submission, please read our Policy on Treatment of Written Evidence by Subject and Mandatory Committees.

Please send your views no later than 27 April 2018.

Our preferred format to receive responses is using our submission template. This is available on the Committee’s website. Responses should be sent, wherever possible, electronically and in MS Word format to: salmon-farming.reccommittee@parliament.scot

Hard copy responses may be sent to: Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, T3.60, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Ideally, responses should be no more than four sides of A4 in length.

All written evidence received may be published by the Parliament and will be treated as a public document. If you wish to submit evidence in confidence or anonymously please read the policy at the link above or contact the Committee clerks, details below.

Contact

Should you require alternative formats of this information or further assistance in making a written submission to the Committee, please do not hesitate to contact the clerking team of the Committee.

For Committee information, contact: Steve Farrell, tel 0131 348 5211, email: salmon-farming.reccommittee@parliament.scot  

For further information, the media contact is: Cat Synnot, tel 0131 348 5605, email: cat.synnot@parliament.scot  

For general enquiries, contact: 0845 278 1999 (local call rate), email: sp.info@scottish.parliament.uk  

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