The Salmon Farm Monitor
An rud bhios na do bhròin, cha bhi e na do thiomhnadh
That which you have wasted will not be there for future generations


PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE 30th September 2003

SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE ACCUSED OF DECEIT - SFPG CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT SURVEY OF NUMBERS EMPLOYED IN FISH FARMING

The Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) is willfully deceiving the public about the number of jobs fish farming provides in Scotland.

SEERAD official Paul Shave, responding to those who express concern about the impact fish farming has on wild fish and upon the marine and freshwater environment, makes outrageous and deceitful claims about the number of people employed in the industry.

His letter alleges, “It [fish faming] provides 6,500 jobs in remote rural areas where there are few [employment] alternatives.” But according to the Scottish Executive’s own figures (Scottish Fisheries Statistics, 2002) staff directly employed in sea cage fish farming in remote rural areas total 1,306.

The other alleged 5,194 jobs are down-stream jobs primarily in fish processing and largely located in urban areas where many other employment alternatives exist; to such an extent that the industry has to rely upon itinerant labour from the Middle East, Central Europe and Iberia to meet its commitments.

SFPG chairman Bruce Sandison, writing to First Minister The Rt Hon Jack McConnell said, “There is no evidence to support this [Paul Shave’s] statement, unless one thinks, for instance, that Aberdeen, Inverness, Dingwall, Fort William, Dumfries, Kirkwall and Lerwick lie in “remote rural areas where there are few [employment] alternatives.”

Mr Sandison said: “It is six years since an independent survey of employment provided by fish farming in Scotland was carried out. Would you agree with me that the value placed upon employment in the industry is a cornerstone of the political and financial support fish farming receives from the Scottish Executive? As such, would you further agree with me, in order to verify these figures an up-to-date survey of employment in fish farming should be carried out?

“Given growing public concern about the impact fish farming is having on Scotland’s marine and freshwater environment and on employment in other sectors, such as tourism, might I also respectfully ask that The Salmon Farm Protest Group (SFPG) be given observer status in such a survey and that the SFPG is consulted on the terms of reference required to gather the necessary information.”

FURTHER INFORMATION AND PRESS ENQUIRIES TO
Bruce Sandison, Tel: 01847 611274; Fax: 01847 611263
See also October issue of Salmon Farm Monitor – www.salmonfarmmonitor.org

Hysbackie, Tongue, by Lairg, Sutherland 1V27 4XJ, Scotland
Tel: 01847 611274; Fax: 01847 611262; email bruce@hysbackie.freeserve.co.uk
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