New strategy to support Scotland’s fish farming sector

Actions to increase the productivity of Scotland’s aquaculture sector and help reduce its impact on the environment have been set out in a new strategy.

Mairi Gougeon - Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture
Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon
July 25, 2023

The Scottish government published its long-term vision for the nation’s aquaculture sector, recognizing its “crucial role” in contributing to food security, net zero and high-skilled jobs.

The Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture includes measures that will safeguard the natural environment, support innovation across the sector, ensure local communities receive lasting benefits from aquaculture and promote new infrastructure and supply chain developments

The vision will be delivered by the Scottish Government in cooperation with businesses and other stakeholders. It will also seek to harness the potential Scotland has as a coastal nation to develop its Blue Economy and create more sustainable economic and social benefits from fish, seafood and seaweed farming in the future.

Rural Affairs secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said that “Scotland’s aquaculture sector is a significant contributor to our economy. Farmed salmon continues to be hugely popular in both domestic and foreign markets while Scottish businesses are at the very forefront of global innovation within the industry. We want the industry to continue to flourish while placing a renewed emphasis on environmental protection and community benefits. This is the defining principle of the Vision for Aquaculture and the measures that it contains are designed to achieve this.”

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland said, “we welcome this vision which puts salmon farming at the heart of the country’s economic growth plans, helping Scotland’s journey to net zero and supporting healthy diets. The blue economy has the potential to both increase food security at home and feed the growing global population. Scotland is uniquely placed to lead the way in the drive for the sustainable use of the oceans and seas while conserving our shared environment for future generations.”

Andrew Cannon, managing director of Kames Fish Farming said that “it’s encouraging there is an open dialogue between the sector and government that will enable progression to a more sustainable future for aquaculture. We can only really tackle these sustainability challenges, such as climate change and environmental impact, by working collectively and collaboratively, and through better education and discourse with the research institutes and public bodies. We hope this vision document triggers action, further than just words, within the industry.”