Aquaculture monitoring in Shetland completed – Fishfarmer Magazine

Aquaculture monitoring in Shetland completed30 May, 2011 –

THE Marine Planning Service of Shetland Islands Council have just completed the latest round of monitoring for the marine aquaculture industry in Shetland.

This involves inspecting each aquaculture development to make sure that it complies with the conditions of its planning consent and ensuring that the equipment on site is fit for purpose.

There are at present 236 aquaculture sites around the Shetland coastline and mussel sites now outnumber fin fish sites, 109 for fin fish and 127 for mussels.  Of this total, 195 sites are currently active (equipment on site), 90 being finfish farms and 105 being shellfish farms.

Due to the non-permanence of equipment used in the marine environment, each permitted aquaculture site is inspected at least twice a year to ensure that the developer is complying with the conditions laid down by their planning consent.

Coastal Zone Manager Martin Holmes said: “As usual, the response from industry has been positive and co-operative.  We were pleased to find that the number of non-compliance issues relating to equipment and lighting has dropped significantly, from 43 in September 2010 to just 16 in May this year.

“This is a clear indication of the efforts that industry has put into its operational practices and the benefits of having a regular monitoring regime for aquaculture sites in Shetland.”