This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Locational guidelines for fish farms
New guidelines governing the location of fish farms in Scotland were published today.
The guidelines were revised following consultation with fish farmers and their trade organisations, local authorities, SEPA, wild fishery interests and environmental non-governmental organisations.
The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development Allan Wilson said:
"The review of guidelines looked at a range of issues including how areas for development are categorised, the role of local authorities, new species, and separation distances between sites and between sites and natural heritage areas.
"Since these guidelines were first introduced three years ago, there have been significant developments in that relatively short time. Consequently, it was decided to review the effectiveness of existing guidelines.
"These guidelines, together with the aquaculture strategy being developed by my Working Group, will facilitate the sustainable development of the industry. I am committed to ensuring environmental impacts are balanced with the socio-economic benefits to fragile, rural communities."
The Locational Guidelines for the Authorisation of Marine Fish Farms in Scottish Waters provide guidance on the factors to be taken into account when considering proposals for new marine fish farms or modifications to existing operations;
They also establish the national context for the preparation by planning authorities of non-statutory fish farm framework plans, for guiding the location of future fish farms.
Since publication of the Guidelines in 1999 there have been a number of significant developments within the industry, including the outbreak of Infectious Salmon Anaemia, the Tripartite Working Group process, and the commercialisation of new farmed species. Additionally, there has been a review of regulations governing aquaculture, and the development of a strategic framework for Scottish aquaculture is ongoing. Because of these, as well as emerging natural heritage requirements, a review of the Guidelines was needed to ensure their continued 'fitness for purpose'.
On 23 December the Executive published a draft Strategic Framework for Aquaculture, based on the work of a range of stakeholders under the direction of the Ministerial Working Group on Aquaculture, chaired by the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development.
Further details about the revised guidelines and the Strategic Framework can be found on the Scottish Executive website at www.scotland.gov.uk/about/ERADRA/FFAME/00015953/