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Scottish Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill Passes Through Next Stage

16 May 2013

SCOTLAND, UK - The Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill has successfully passed through Stage three of the Parliamentary process. The Bill will ensure that farmed and wild fisheries are managed effectively, maximising their combined contribution to supporting sustainable economic growth with due regard to the wider marine environment.

The Bill:

  • Introduces ‘good governance’ obligations on our Salmon Fishery Boards to improve openness, transparency and accountability
  • Enhances the management of salmon fisheries through improvements to data collection and information gathering; strengthening the consenting regime and providing access for Ministers to the full range of management measures
  • Amends the Fisheries Act 1981 and modernise existing enforcement provisions to ensure that sufficient powers are in place to enable Sea Fishery Officers to enforce sea fisheries regulations
  • Introduces legislative provisions to safeguard shellfish waters protected areas
  • Makes provision for charges for a number of fishery functions
  • Extends the scope of offences that could be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice

Speaking just after closing the debate, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse said: “I believe we have delivered a Bill which is proportionate and balanced and the product of significant stakeholder engagement. It enhances the existing regulatory framework to provide the safeguards we would all expect to ensure sustainable economic growth.

“These sectors – aquaculture (production and processing), game and coarse angling - are worth over £700 million with the potential to breach the £1 billion mark in the future. They employ some 8,000 people across Scotland, helping to underpin many of our rural communities.

“I believe now is the time to look forward, and to recognise the enormous benefits to Scotland of a successful and thriving aquaculture and fishery sectors that can develop in harmony and in partnership with all those who share our marine environment. There is always more work to be done but we continue from a solid platform established through the Bill. I look forward to progressing this work through the refreshed Ministerial Group on Sustainable Aquaculture, and in particular the Interactions Working Group I have established.”

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