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Interactions Working Group

In Spring 2013, an Interactions Working Group was established as part of the restructured Ministerial Group on Sustainable Aquaculture. The Group is Chaired by Ian Ross, Scottish Natural Heritage and includes key interests in the interaction between farmed and wild salmon. Current membership includes:

  • Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB)
  • Rivers & Fisheries Boards Scotland (RAFTS)
  • Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO)
  • the Crown Estate
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • the British Trout Association
  • Marine Scotland

Working Group aims:

  • Establishment of a mechanism for continued facilitated discussions between wild and farmed fish.
  • Wild/farmed fish agreement of key issues on which to work together at a strategic level including promotion of joint activities of both sectors.
  • Development of blueprint of best practice for local engagement – drawing on success of local arrangements that work.
  • Build on locational work and inform wider marine spatial planning and community engagement.

Update on progress: 

  • The Group has met on four occasions during the last year, most recently on 12 November. All members are committed to a process of inclusivity. Members have held a number of separate but interactions related discussions during the intervening period. A paper detailing examples of that work was circulated to the wider MGSA on 19 November 2014.
  • The Group has focused on four agreed workstreams which look at fostering local collaboration between aquaculture and wider interests’, fostering greater awareness and perceived inclusivity of the Code of Good Practice, facilitating access by Marine Scotland scientists to detailed information on sea lice and fostering a more collaborative approach to wild fisheries management.
  • Recent discussions have seen the focus move more towards improving dialogue at a local level.
  • Following agreement by the Steering Group at its last meeting, the Crown Estate, ASFB and the SSPO have been working collaboratively to put in place local pilots for the management of interactions between farmed and wild salmon and sea trout stocks in specific areas. This is intended to build upon the lessons learned from the Tri-Partite Working Group initiative and its achievements, and refine rather than replace these in keeping with developments and requirements in both sectors over time.
  • A number of areas were identified where it is considered that farmed and wild salmon and sea trout interests might productively participate in such an initiative, namely Loch Torridon, Loch Fyne, Loch Linnhe/Upper Lorn/Sound of Mull and Loch Seaforth.
  • All the inaugural meetings have been completed (effectively one a month since July). Participants have been asked to confirm their active involvement in the Groups and to consider areas of particular focus. The emphasis remains on local ownership. We anticipate this should be in a more formalised position by June 2015 (taking into account the festive focus for the aquaculture sector interest and any implications for the wild fisheries review).
  • The Group is scheduled to meet again in February 2015.