Scottish authorities agree to regulatory flexibility for industry during coronavirus

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Temporary operations during Covid-19 outbreak.

In a press release, the SSPO writes that temporary regulatory flexibility has been agreed with SEPA and Marine Scotland to help manage the impacts of reduced staff availability and disruption to processing and retail distribution as a result of Covid-19.

This is to look after the welfare of livestock and help ensure a supply of fresh food to UK supermarkets while protecting staff, it said.

“The SSPO and its members have anticipated that the likelihood of reduced staff, as well as disruption to fish processing and reduced access to markets, will mean that fish may have to be kept in the water for longer with subsequent impacts on monitoring, fish health and fallowing,” wrote the SSPO.

SSPO Sustainability Director Anne Anderson said: “All salmon farmers are working, first and foremost, to ensure the safety of their workforces. They also have a duty of care, as farmers, to look after their fish and adhere to the rigorous regulations that support salmon farming.

“However, we welcome the recognition by regulators that these are exceptional circumstances and are grateful for their pragmatic proposals. The flexibility around these issues will be extremely helpful.

“The sector’s commitment to communicate with SEPA will ensure that both regulator and companies can monitor progress and anticipate changing circumstances in order to take the necessary steps to look after the fish and the environment.”