Monday, 24 November 2008

Gibson calls for changes to aquaculture planning

News release
Immediate release


Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has called for the freeing up of areas of the sea for aquaculture to take place.

His call came during the debate on the subject in the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Gibson raised the issue of Crown Estate marine sites which had been leased out yet have not been used.

During the debate Mr Gibson was congratulated by the Fishing Minister Mike Russell on raising the issue, whilst the Labour Party also recognised its importance.

It emerged that for the first time a map of the areas which are leased has now been published by the Scottish Government.

Speaking after Mr Gibson said…

"The planning framework which governs the sites for lease by the Crown Estate needs to be tightened up. For years the Crown Estate have been leasing sites claiming rent for aquaculture activities on productive sites but taking little action against unused sites."

"This practice has to stop and I am greatly encouraged by the Minister's comments during the debate. It is vitally important that we can see where these leased sites are and who leases them. So that action can be taken to turn them into productive areas."

"There is enormous potential however in 2006 the were 140 fish farming sites (leased by the Crown Estate) which were producing nothing."

Rob also called for a greater marketing campaign and increased home sales to help aquaculture producers beat the credit crunch. He said that sales to continental Europe this year were very slow and part of the short fall could be made up from home sales. However he said that for that to happen the abundance and quality of food from the seas on the doorstep of Scotland had to highlighted to the people of Scotland.


No comments: