Aquaculture decisions managed better locally

PLANNING control of Shetland’s aquaculture industry must remain within the islands, councillors heard this week.

SIC coastal zone manager Martin Holmes told members of the plan­ning board it was essential decisions on the island’s marine sector stayed in local hands.

His comments came as coun­cillors considered a new consultation document on the future of the aqua­culture industry across Scotland.

The Scottish government’s con­sultation on a new “strategic frame­work” for Scottish aquaculture seeks to build on an initial plan unveiled in 2003.

Mr Holmes said responsibility for planning permission for the sector should not be farmed out to the pro­posed new body, Marine Scotland, which features as part of the proposed Scottish Marine Bill.

“We need to ensure control remains at local level and does not go down to the central belt.”

That struck a chord with chairman Frank Robertson, who said Shetland had been managing its own aqua­culture and marine sector for over 30 years.


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