Environment minister in isles to hear from salmon industry

Scottish environment minister Stewart Stevenson was in Shetland today to visit salmon and mussel farming sites and hold talks with industry leaders.

He was gathering feedback from aquaculture representatives ahead of the planned introduction this autumn of a controversial Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill. The industry in Shetland has already criticised the excessive red tape assoicated with the new legislation.

Mr Stevenson  visited sites off Wadbister and Laxfirth before undertaking a tour of Lerwick Fish Traders in Lerwick. The minister also met Michael Stark of Grieg Seafood Hjaltland and David Sandison of Shetland Aquaculture.

During the visit he insisted the isles played a major part in the growing sector.

“Shetland has about 27 per cent of Scotland’s marine farming industry,” he said. “Conditions here are a bit different from elsewhere, with much more open water, which creates its own challenges, but means we produce a different quality of fish.

“I have been able to see the very substantial investment being made in what is a growing industry across Scotland, and an important local industry in Shetland.”

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