5 June 2019

Responding to the Cabinet Secretary’s statement on the future of Scottish aquaculture, Scottish Labour’s environment spokesperson, Claudia Beamish MSP, said:

“I welcome the commitment today for compulsory public reporting of sea lice data on a farm by farm basis, an amendment to the Aquaculture Bill I put forward 6 years ago but was rejected by the Scottish Government.

“The Cabinet Secretary must ensure that any plans for the closed containment of fish will be fully tested against animal welfare standards.

“SEPA’s shift to encouraging applications for larger scale fish farms in deeper waters may simply disperse fish faeces and medicine more widely in the marine environment, pushing it further out of sight and out of mind.

“Scotland’s coastal communities need a strong aquaculture sector and it is important that the SNP government listen to concerns to get secure its sustainablefuture for years to come.”

Scottish Labour’s Rural Economy spokesperson, Rhoda Grant MSP, said:

“Aquaculture is extremely important to the economy of rural Scotland and therefore it is imperative that we get the regulation right in order to build an excellent reputation for our produce.

“It is also important for our health, as our diet often lacks enough oily fish and the benefits that comes with it.

“Both industry and those expressing concerns cite the Norwegian system as providing the best regulatory system and I would urge the Scottish Government to consider adopting a similar regime.”
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