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Fish farmer with shellfish

Collaborative Scottish shellfish study launched

Scotland’s shellfish industry body, with support from Crown Estate Scotland, has completed a study into the economic challenges and potential of taking a ‘loch-wide’ approach for shellfish growers.

The Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers and Crown Estate Scotland funded economic research to identify if collaborative investment, for example in vessels, harvesting equipment and infrastructure, might contribute to the growth of shellfish operations in Scotland.

Crown Estate Scotland Aquaculture Operations manager, Alex Adrian said: “The Shellfish Critical Mass Modelling study provides useful guidance for planners and other authorities on what might be needed to support the growth of shellfish farming in Scotland. It explores economic viability thresholds for the industry, and will be useful to prospective developers and existing businesses hoping to expand.

“A better understanding of economic drivers and challenges of a viable shellfish industry and how this translates into the nature of businesses and developments is vital if Scotland is to realise the undoubted potential of this sector.”

Alex Adrian added: “A second element of the work was to explore what measures may encourage growth of the sector, including how local communities might be involved so that they have a stake in developments and are involved in their delivery such as through employment or service supply.”

Dr Nick Lake, chief executive officer of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers said:

“Our members offered first hand production and business information to inform and provide detailed considerations as to how joint working could benefit both individual businesses and the wider community. The ASSG continues to promote the expansion of shellfish cultivation in Scotland as a highly sustainable and economically beneficial activity within some of the most remote Scottish locations.

“In order for the sector to continue to develop it is important that the wider business interests are recognised and planned for within the overall management framework for Scottish aquaculture. The ASSG looks forward to continued joint working with Crown Estate Scotland to ensure benefits are realised for both individuals and the wider Scottish economy.”

Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd carried out the work on behalf of Crown Estate Scotland and the ASSG. Economic modelling helped to identify loch-centred geographic regions, which might benefit from collaborative investment to create a more robust business overall.

-ENDS-

The report is at http://www.crownestatescotland.com/maps-and-publications/download/118