Salmon grouping calls for more prominence for code –

Salmon grouping calls for more prominence for code Published:  03 March, 2006

THE new Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) has stressed that the industry’s Code of Good Practice should win more prominence when a new Bill goes to the Scottish Parliament in June.

In its response to the Scottish Executive’s Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill consultation process which ends today,the organisation argues that a voluntary approach to best practice is the best way forward.

Sid Patten, Chief Executive of the SSPO, said: “The industry welcomes the broad objective of the proposed Bill in so far as it is intended to act as a legal ‘backstop’ should any companies fail to meet the industry’s standards of good practice.

“But we believe a voluntary approach through the industry’s robust and independently audited Code of Good Practice (CoGP) is the most flexible and cost-effective means of achieving a sustainable aquaculture industry and we are calling on MSPs to support the Code as a credible, dynamic and modern reflection of good aquaculture practice.”

The Code has been effective since January 1 this year and salmon farmers throughout Scotland have, says the SSPO, have been quick to show their commitment to the initiative which will allow them to demonstrate the high standards of husbandry, welfare and environmental responsibility to which they operate. Compliance with the Code’s 300 points will be independently audited by UKAS-approved Inspection Services.

Mr Patten said the code was a major achievement for Scottish fish farming, and demonstrates the progress made in Scottish aquaculture over the last 10 years.

“It represents the most comprehensive and open exercise of its kind ever undertaken by any food producing industry in the UK as it was developed in consultation with all interested parties from Government, environmental NGOs, wild fish interests and the public.

“This kind of commitment to the future of our industry and its thousands of employees is confirmation that salmon farmers have earned their rightful place as a major player in Scotland’s economic landscape.”

The industry is planning an official launch for the Code later this month as part of its drive to promote the “achievements and progress” of Scottish salmon farming in the past 10 years. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.