– Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Environment Minister
"We want both indigenous businesses and new businesses coming into Scotland to grow, but we also have a duty to protect our natural resources for the long term.
"That is why through the bill, we seek to ensure the marine environment is protected while we regonise the benefits of a successful and growing aquaculture industry developing side by side with wild fisheries.
"The bill is not a blueprint for assured growth but aims to ensure there is a regulatory framework to support and facilitate that growth."
New legal measures aimed at improving the way fish farms and wild fisheries are managed in Scotland will be backed in principle by MSPs today.
Ministers say the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill is about making sure both sectors are successful while providing protection for the marine environment.
Key features of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill include:
- New legal measures for fish farms operators – including statutory farm management agreements and requirements for technical equipment standards.
- Moves to improve the management and governance of District Salmon Fisheries Boards, making them more transparent and accountable, with powers for Ministers to intervene if that is not the case.
- Safeguards for the shellfish industry, with measures to ensure shellfish waters continue to be protected from pollution.
Legislation aimed at reforming management of the fish farming and wild fisheries sectors is expected to be backed in principle by MSPs today (28th February).
The debate, taking place in Holyrood, will focus on the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill, which has been brought forward by the Scottish Government.