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Scotland and Norway sign Memorandum


An international agreement has been signed today between Scottish and Norwegian aquaculture leaders.

The Memorandum of Understanding pledges to safe-guard and develop the multimillion pound aquaculture industry through the sharing of research and information.

The agreement was signed by Scotland Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham and Norweigan Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Helga Pedersen.

The Memorandum will:

  • Recongise Scotland and Norway's shared interest in aquaculture development
  • Establish a Joint Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on Aquaculture
  • Provide greater dividends through a more collaborative approach
  • Identify technical equipment standards that reduce environmental impact
  • Extend dialogue to include active collaboration on economic, social and environmental issues

Speaking in Trondheim, Norway, Roseanna Cunningham said:

"The aquaculture industry is vitally important to Scotland both economically and socially, in particular to many remote and rural communities.

"We want an industry that is competitive, growing, profitable, diverse and sustainable. It is already a major success story for Scotland, but the industry has potential that can be unlocked further.

"By working together, Scotland and Norway could be a powerhouse of finfish aquaculture research.

"I look forward to demonstrating Scotland's wealth of knowledge, skills and proficiency on an international platform."

A Joint Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on Aquaculture will be established with a first meeting to be held in Scotland in 2010. Environmental sustainability, access to finance and insurance, collaboration on research and exchange of experience on regulations are identified as the main focus areas for the collaboration.

Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Helga Pedersen, said:

"We can learn from each other, and develop our industries even further. I am pleased that Scotland and Norway can strengthen our cooperation on aquaculture, since a collaborative approach provide greater dividends.

"These focus areas are key elements in developing the aquaculture industry both in Scotland and Norway."

A programmes of activities will be decided by mutual agreement at the Joint Committee annual meetings. The workings of the committee will be evaluated regularly and will produce an annual report of outcomes for both Ministers

The Memorandum of Understanding represents a statement of political intent and does not create legally binding obligations under international law.