Liberal Democrats back Scottish aquaculture

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have stressed their support for the aquaculture and fishing industries as campaigning for the Scottish Parliamentary elections continues.

The party’s manifesto, published today, calls for “partnership working” in the seafood sector and states: “We support the Scottish aquaculture industry and the high value it adds to its Scottish produce. We will support the industry to make continual improvements to production standards, and do all we can to smooth its route to international markets.”

On fisheries, the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto pledges to bring in a ban on “unsustainable practices” including gill net trawling, and to eliminate plastic pollution from the sea.

The manifesto also says that, as well as relying on international bodies such as ICES [the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea], Scotland should do more to gather its own scientific data – as Norway and Iceland do – on which to base decisions about sustainability and the marine environment.

It also calls for Scotland to work with the UK government to ensure that immigration rules allow for the crewing of Scottish fishing vessels, as well as investing in training and education to ensure there is a workforce for the industry in future.

The Scottish National Party’s manifesto has also come in support of the fish farming sector, promising reform of the consent process for new farms.

Elections to the Scottish Parliament take place on 6 May.