Scottish Aquaculture & Fisheries Bill
(L-R) David Sandison, Shetland Aquaculture, Stewart Stevenson MSP, and Michael Stark, Grieg Seafood Hjaltland. Credit: stewartstevenson.net
Scotland will be introducing new legislation on aquaculture and freshwater fisheries in 2013.
Scottish environment minister Stewart Stevenson was in Shetland this week and met with Shetland Aquaculture to discuss the company’s views on the Scottish Government proposals for the new Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill.
The environment minister reassured Shetland industry that a thorough analysis of all responses received to the recent consultation on the Bill is currently underway. Further stakeholder engagement will take place during the summer recess, with legislation set to be introduced this autumn.
Mr Stevenson said: “The Scottish Government is firmly committed to ensuring a viable, long-term future for aquaculture and freshwater fisheries, with effective management of interactions between these two sectors. Both these sectors play an important role in supporting continued economic growth in our rural communities, particularly in Shetland.
“That’s why we consulted on proposals for introducing new legislation. The consultation attracted a lot of interest and it’s only right that we take the time to reflect and ensure that the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill is fit for purpose.”
He said that the proposals outlined in the consultation back the aquaculture industry’s aspiration to increase fish production by 50% and double shellfish production by 2020.
A series of meetings of the Ministerial Group on Aquaculture will now be organised to facilitate further discussion around the consultation proposals and consider how these might be reflected in the final Bill.
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