Salmon Scotland responds to government’s plan to oversee next phase of aquaculture industry review

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Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of Salmon Scotland, has welcomed the Scottish government’s plan to directly oversee the next phase of the review into the aquaculture industry.

Speaking at the Aquaculture UK event in Aviemore, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, announced that she will personally oversee the next phase of the Griggs report’s review into Scotland’s aquaculture.

“Her participation in the sector is very clear by the fact she’s going to chair the strategy forum, which is very welcome, indeed. And secondly, she was at pains to say that she wants peace around this forum and the working groups that all play into that and we couldn’t agree more,” Scott told SalmonBusiness after Gougeon’s speech.

“I think the fact that she has basically issued a very clear instruction to the officials and to the regulators that this move at pace is exactly what we want. So, it’s very important for the industry to hear the Cabinet Secretary set out both her personal commitment and the determination to deliver this,” Scott added.

While Gougeon didn’t specify a timeframe for delivering the next phase of the review, Scott expects her to stick to the plan laid out by Griggs, who initially set 12 months to produce a new framework.

As part of the next steps, the Scottish government will launch a new ministerial aquaculture strategy forum to help “shape and deliver” Scotland’s ambitions for the sector and help address the challenges it faces. Amid the difficulties highlighted by Gougeon were the long-term effects of Brexit and the more recent challenges caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

When asked who Salmon Scotland would hope to have on the strategy forum, Scott told SalmonBusiness “it would be important that some of our managing directors who obviously have considerable knowledge and expertise” are consulted when constructing the framework that “will determine our future.”

Read also: Scottish government to directly oversee next phase of aquaculture industry review

The Griggs report was commissioned in 2021 by the Scottish government to conduct an independent review into the aquaculture sector, examining the regulatory landscape, gathering stakeholder opinions and recommend actions to improve the industry. This was the first phase of a review that, Gougeon describes as having a “broad remit.”