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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-35592
Asked by: John Finnie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Green Party
Date lodged: 2 March 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what actions it will take to address any concerns of coastal communities regarding damage to the marine environment from the further expansion of salmon farming before all the issues outlined in the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee's 2018 Report on the environmental impacts of salmon farming and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee's 2018 report, Salmon farming in Scotland, are resolved.

Current status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 15 March 2021


Answer

The environmental impacts of aquaculture largely depend on the circumstances in which the fish are produced and regulated, and on both, I can confirm that we have one of the most rigorous regulatory regimes in the world.

The Scottish Government and its agencies continue to work effectively with the farmed salmon sector and others to make improvement in key areas as highlighted by the recent Parliamentary Inquiries. We support the sustainable growth of Scottish aquaculture while maintaining the right balance across our economic, environmental and social responsibilities.

Salmon farming is a vital sector for Scotland and a key component of our Blue Economy. It is our number one food export and creates many thousands of highly paid, highly skilled jobs, many of which are in our most remote and fragile coastal communities.