Scottish Executive working to safeguard aquaculture industry – Fishupdate.com

Scottish Executive working to safeguard aquaculture industry Published:  02 December, 2004

THE Government will act to defend Scotland’s salmon farming industry against the threat posed by foreign imports, Deputy Environment and Rural Development Minister Lewis Macdonald said today.

Opening today’s Scottish Parliament debate on aquaculture, Lewis Macdonald outlined what the Scottish Executive is doing, in partnership with the UK Government, to deliver long-term measures to safeguard the industry.

Mr Macdonald said: “Scottish Ministers recognise the importance of the fish farming and shellfish cultivation industry, especially in our most remote rural areas.

The industry is worth about £500 million a year to the economy, employing up to 10,000 people either directly or in support services.

“Our salmon farming industry is being hit particularly hard because of continuing over-supply from Norway and other salmon-producing countries outside the European Union.

“We have already taken action by successfully pursuing provisional safeguard measures to protect this important industry. However, we need to do more.

“We are working with the UK Government and the industry to secure a longer term safeguard solution. The European Commission is currently drawing up proposals to protect the Scottish industry. These are expected to last four years and will include an examination of costs of production in Norway.

“Despite the many challenges facing our aquaculture industry, at home and abroad, we remain committed to raising our competitiveness and securing the sustainable development of an industry that is vital to our rural and remoter areas.”

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