Analysis of the consultation on proposals for the introduction of an Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill, which received 1,342 responses, has been published. The Scottish Government consulted on how to achieve a sustainable future for aquaculture and freshwater fisheries and ensure the effective management of interactions between the two sectors. The consultation will inform the development of a new Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill, which is planned for introduction in autumn 2012. Fish and shellfish farming is a growing industry that directly employs more than 1,500 people, with salmon being Scotland’s largest food export. In 2010 150,000 tonnes of farmed salmon was produced, worth around £540 million. Scotland's freshwater fisheries are world famous and their management supports one of the largest wild salmon populations in Europe, while Scottish brown trout fisheries are also an important tourism draw.
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said:
"Both aquaculture and freshwater fisheries play an important economic and social role in communities throughout Scotland, particularly in remote and rural locations. That’s why the Scottish Government has consulted on new legislation that will aim to ensure both sectors have a viable, long term future.
"Therefore I welcome the strong level of engagement in this consultation, reflecting the desire of the respondents that we have a balanced and proportionate Bill, building on the successes we already have in these sectors. The provisions within the Bill will ensure that farmed and wild fisheries – and their interactions with each other – are managed effectively, maximising their combined contribution to supporting sustainable economic growth."