Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill

saltireThe Scottish Government has introduced a Bill before the Scottish Parliament which is aimed at underpinning the sustainable development of the fish farming and game fishing sectors.

The main objective of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill is to help ensure ensure that farmed and wild fisheries are managed effectively whilst maximising their combined contribution to supporting sustainable economic growth with due regard to the wider marine environment.

Welcoming the introduction of the Bill, Minister for Environment Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland is home to economically significant aquaculture and freshwater fisheries sectors. They are critical to the economies of many remote and rural communities, as well as making important contributions to the wider Scottish economy. Farmed salmon is now recognised as our most valuable food export and wild salmon and trout fishing is a key tourism draw.

“We want to ensure both sectors have a successful and sustainable future – while providing protection for the environment – and that’s why we have progressed an Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill at this time. The Bill was developed and informed by a very comprehensive consultation process, where we listened to feedback from more than 1,300 respondents and sought further views.

Key features of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill include:

  • New legal measures for fish farms operators – including statutory farm management agreements, requirements for technical equipment standards, and control mechanisms for the operation of wellboats
  • Moves to improve the management and governance of District Salmon Fisheries Boards, making them more transparent and accountable, with powers for Ministers to intervene if that is not the case
  • Safeguards for the shellfish industry, with measures to ensure shellfish waters continue to be protected from pollution once the EU Shellfish Waters Directive is repealed in 2013
  • Powers to impose charges in connection to services provided by Marine Scotland in carrying out of functions relating to fish and shellfish farming, freshwater fisheries, and sea fisheries
  • Some additional enforcement powers to support sea fishery officers in carrying out monitoring and investigation duties, and the extension of Fixed Penalty Notices to respond to issues of regulatory non-compliance

Category: Scottish Government News

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