The August issue of Fish Farmer is available now, and you can read or download it online here.
This month, we finally got to report on the Scottish Government’s Vision for Aquaculture, which had originally been expected by the end of last year.
The Vision sets out the Scottish Government’s aspirations for the aquaculture sector – finfish, shellfish and seaweed – and explains the thinking which will underpin its policies. It is a broadly positive document, stressing the importance of aquaculture to Scotland’s economy and to its rural and island communities, and welcoming developments such as offshore farming and investment in local sources to supply fish ova, shellfish spat and seaweed seed.
The paper has been welcomed by the industry. Anyone expecting a plan or a programme, however, might be a little disappointed. There is no overall target for growth, whether in terms of output, economic contribution or jobs, or any specific commitment as regards what government is prepared to encourage growth. The Vision is best seen as an explanation of the thinking that will underpin future policy.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in this issue we look at the way in which Scotland’s salmon farmers are using cleaner fish as a natural ally to help control sea lice numbers. And with the consultation deadline fast approaching, there’s an explanation of how the proposed Wild Salmon Protection Zones – intended to ensure that lice on fish farms do not pose an unacceptable threat to migrating wild salmon – will work.
Sandy Neil reports on the Invest in the West campaign, which is focusing on the need for better housing and infrastructure for the islands and along Scotland’s west coast.
We also talk to Donna Fordyce, Chief Executive at industry body Seafood Scotland, about her organisation’s role in helping spread the word about this important sector.
Elsewhere in the magazine you can find a preview of the Aquaculture Europe conference in Vienna this September; Nicki Holmyard’s report on the debate over non-native oysters on the British coast; and find out why Nick Joy, perhaps surprisingly, wants us to be fair to politicians.