THE Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has launched an eight-week public consultation in the next phase of its review of the aquaculture regulation.
The technical consultation follows one of the agency’s largest consultation programmes in late 2018, the publication of its Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan and the introduction of its new regulatory framework in June.
The consultation explores methods of regulating the organic load from a fish farm.
David Harley, head of Water and Planning at Sepa, said: ‘As one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, Sepa is working with the finfish aquaculture sector to ensure protection of the environment is recognised as fundamental to the sector’s success.
‘Our vision is that the sector becomes a world leading innovator in ways to minimise the environmental footprint of food production and supply; where it has a strong and positive relationship with neighbouring users of the environment and communities; and where it is valued nationally for its contribution to achieving global food security.
‘Having done more science, more analysis and more listening than ever before over the last two years, including in our largest ever public consultation across Scotland, we launched our Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan and a new, firm, evidence based regulatory framework in June this year.
‘This further consultation is focused on how we ensure that the organic load does not negatively impact local environments.’
He added: ‘We want to provide certainty and transparency to site operators, regulators and communities.
‘We’re committed to listening and to getting this right which is why we’re asking for responses to options for approaches from the broadest possible group of stakeholders with interests in our regulation of the sector.’
The consultation is open until Wednesday, November 27, 2019.