New plan to streamline Scottish aquaculture
Scotland exported 65,480 metric tons of salmon last year, up from 52,671 metric tons the previous year, while more than 13 million fresh Scottish salmon were exported in 2009, up 24 percent from 2008, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organization (SSPO) reported on Wednesday.
The news comes a day after Cabinet Finance Secretary John Swinney and Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham published the Planning Reform for Aquaculture, designed to streamline Scotland’s GBP 367 million aquaculture industry.
“This publication builds on the Scottish government’s work to ensure planning is increasingly efficient, joined up and effective,” said Swinney. “It will lead to more certainty and speed of decision making for the aquaculture industry, which will be vital for jobs and communities around Scotland.”
Scotland’s salmon farming industry plans to grow 3 percent to 5 percent annually over the next five years, according to SSPO Chairman Phil Thomas.
“This will require restructuring and rationalization of existing farm sites and also the development of some new locations,” said Thomas. “The Planning Reform for Aquaculture document is an essential step in ensuring the seamless development that is required to meet the industry’s goals and the Scottish Government’s economic purpose.”
Valued at GBP 220 million annually, Salmon is Scotland’s No. 1 food export, representing more than 55 percent of its total food exports.
“With demand for Scottish salmon continuing to be extremely high overseas, export markets offer further opportunity for market expansion,” said SSPO CEO Scott Landsburgh.
Europe is the Scottish salmon industry’s No. 1 export market, with France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland leading the way. The United States, Canada and the Far East are also key export markets.