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Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 00:02 GMT
Salmon nets '197m for business'
Salmon fillets
Farmed salmon is said to benefit the Highlands the most
Salmon farming generates 197m a year for Scottish businesses, the industry's national body has claimed.

The Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation said a survey it conducted found the Highlands and Islands was the region to benefit the most.

It received 149m annually and was also found to be the location for the bulk of Scotland's salmon suppliers.

The figures come a day after MSPs passed a new law introducing a tougher inspection system for fish farms.

Scottish Salmon Producers chief executive Sid Patten will detail the industry figures at a business meeting in Inverness.

Key sector

Last year, Scottish Salmon said one million fresh salmon meals were being consumed every day in the UK.

Mr Patten said: "Businesses in the Highlands and Islands such as ice suppliers, net makers, fish vets and hauliers net nearly 3m every week from the industry.

"And as the majority of suppliers to the sector are also located in the Highlands and Islands, this increases the importance of the industry to the region."

The new Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill includes a code of practice to prevent disease and escapes.

We want to support the sustainable development of the aquaculture and fisheries
Sarah Boyack
Deputy Environment Minister

It will also clarify the laws of angling and give ministers more power to act against the import and movement of infected fish.

Deputy Environment Minister Sarah Boyack said: "We want to support the sustainable development of the aquaculture and fisheries in Scotland.

"Gyrodactylus salaris (GS) would have a devastating impact if it were to arrive in our rivers.

"The bill gives us comprehensive powers to eradicate that threat and we will continue to put every effort into ensuring that GS never arrives in Scotland."

Measures in the legislation include:

  • A duty on fish farmers to collect, retain and make available for inspection information relating to fish parasites and containment of fish
  • Regulating live fish movements into specified areas in marine waters
  • Powers to allow Scottish ministers to order the compulsory slaughter of fish to eradicate GS
  • A system of administrative penalties for certain sea fisheries offences
  • Increasing the maximum fine level for an offence under a regulating order in inshore fisheries to 50,000.

Salmon farm escapes 'decreasing'
12 Feb 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Concern over organic salmon farms
05 Oct 06 |  Science/Nature
Salmon catch shows recovery signs
05 Oct 06 |  Scotland
New agreement to help wild fish
16 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands
End sought to traditional fishing
08 Aug 06 |  South of Scotland

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