Aquaculture: external review of the current regulatory processes involved in fish farming

Details of the appointment and terms of references of the external review of the regulatory process involved in fish farming announced by the Scottish Government

100 day aquaculture consenting review commitment

Draft Terms of Reference (For agreement)

Purpose and priorities for the review

To appoint an external reviewer of the current regulatory processes involved in fish farming, to identify how best to reform and streamline the system and establish a new single determining authority within 100 days of the new Scottish Government taking office.

The remit of this review is to:

  • review the existing evidence base and engage with key stakeholders in order to identify the issues impacting on the efficient and effective operation of the regulatory framework for aquaculture from the perspective of industry, users of the shared marine environment ( tourism, wild fisheries), communities and regulators
  • make recommendations for further work in relation to improved efficiency and more fundamental institutional reform

The Guiding principles will be:

  • open engagement with relevant institutions and organisations with formal and informal roles in relation to environmental protection, economic growth and social licence; 
  • objective identification of the issues arising; and 
  • initial review of the issues arising to be framed by the associated SG remit and criteria and the phased approach (Annex C) to the overall review.

The criteria to be followed are:

  • all issues should be assessed by reference to both system efficiency and effectiveness in delivering SG policy / public value / stakeholder objectives;
  • the Scottish Government policy objective of protecting the environment, growing the aquaculture sector (as a source of low carbon protein) and maintaining local decision making remain paramount, and, in doing so ensuring that the greatest adherence to possible social licence and socio-economic benefit prevails

The timeline for this work will be:

Recommendations to improve efficiency and effective operation of the regulatory framework for aquaculture and on further work required should be reported end November to mid-December. 

Administrative Support

We will provide support which will be available for two working days a week. 


The reviewer will produce a report on the existing evidence base and make recommendations for further work. The findings will be considered in advance of any publication.  The Reviewer will be able to commission actions, information and meetings, within reason, from the Aquaculture Review Team. 

Members of the Aquaculture Review Team

Donald Carmichael – Marine Scotland
Jane Rougvie - Marine Scotland
Jill Barber - Marine Scotland
Aidan Grisewood -  Environment and Forestry Directorate
Joyce Carr - Environment and Forestry Directorate
Bill Ellis - Planning and Architecture Directorate

Stakeholder Engagement

The following list is not exhaustive, however you will wish to consider the following stakeholders for inclusion in your evidence gathering exercise:

  • Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation- Tavish Scott, CEO
  • British Trout Association – Oliver Robinson, Chairman 
  • Dawnfresh Farming Ltd– Alison Hutchins, Farming Director 
  • Mowi Scotland Ltd – Ben Hadfield, MD
  • Scottish Seafarms Ltd – Jim Gallagher, MD, Anne Anderson, Head of Sustainability and Development
  • Grieg Seafood Shetland – Grant Cumming, MD
  • Loch Duart – Mark Warrington, MD
  • Long Long Salmon – Stewart Hawthorn, Director 
  • Organic Sea Harvest – Alex MacInnes, Founding Director
  • Orkney Organic Salmon – Bruce Mainland
  • Scottish Salmon Company – Ian Laister, MD
  • Cooke Aquaculture Scotland – Colin Blair, MD.  
  • Kames Fish Farming Ltd – Stuart Cannon, MD
  • Wester Ross Fisheries – Gilpin Bradley, MD
  • Otter Ferry Seafish – Alastair Barge
  • Landcatch Natural Selection Ltd – Jan van den Berg
  • AquaGen Scotland Ltd – Andrew Reeve
  • Niri Scotland Ltd – Arve Gravdal
  • Meavag Fish Farming – Paul Finnigan
  • Hebridean Smolts – Damie Steele
  • Migdale Smolts – Hugh Murray
  • Invicta Trout Ltd – Simon Duffin 
  • FishFrom Ltd
  • Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers – Dr Nick Lake, CEO
  • Shetland Mussels – Michael Tait, MD
  • Cromarty Mussels – Alan MacKenzie
  • Inverlussa Marine Services  
  • The Scottish Seaweed Association – Walter Speirs 
  • Local Authority Planning Departments – Argyll and Bute Council, Comhairle Nan Eilean Sar, Highland Council, Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council
  • Royal Town Planning Institute -Craig McLaren
  • Planning Aid for Scotland - Petra Bieberbach
  • Orkney, Shetland and the Clyde Marine Planning Partnerships
  • COSLA 
  • Northern Lighthouse Board- Fingal McKiernan
  • Fisheries Management Scotland – Alan Wells
  • Argyll and Bute Salmon Fishery Board
  • Kyle of Sutherland District Salmon Fishery Board
  • Wester Ross Area Salmon Fisheries Board 
  • Lochaber District Salmon Fishery Board 
  • Lochaber Fisheries Trust
  • Ness District Salmon Fisheries Board 
  • North West District Salmon Fishery Board 
  • Scottish Anglers National Association 
  • Wild Trout Trust 
  • Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland – Andrew Graham Stewart
  • Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation 
  • Scottish White Fish Producers Organisation 
  • Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust 
  • Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network 
  • Scottish Gamekeepers Association Fishing Group 
  • Orkney Fisheries Association 
  • Coastal Communities Network & Friends of the Sounds of Jura – John Aitchison 
  • Scottish Environment Link – Sam Colins
  • Scottish Wildlife Trust 
  • Marine Conservation Society
  • Maritime & Coastguards Agency 
  • Fidra
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society 
  • Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
  • Regional Inshore Fisheries Group 
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds 
  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • Royal Yachting Association  
  • One Kind
  • Compassion in World Farming 
  • Fauna and Flora International 
  • Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
  • Angling Trust
  • Fish Legal 
  • Environmental Standards Scotland 
  • Community Councils – Westray community council, Unst Community Council, 
  • Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre – Heather Jones CEO
  • Scottish Association for Marine Science – Dr Paul Tett 
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise – Elaine Jamieson 
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • Institute for Aquaculture, University of Stirling 
  • Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre
  • Marine Scotland – Licensing, Mike Bland, Fish Health Inspectorate, Charles Allan, Planning, Anna Donald
  • Nature Scot – Cathy Tilbrook, Principal Advisor  
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency – Terry A’Hearn, CEO, Peter Pollard, Head of Ecology   
  • Crown Estate Scotland – Alex Adrian, Aquaculture Operations Manager 
  • Food Standards Scotland
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency 

Terms of Reference agreed

Signed - Donald Carmichael on behalf of Scottish Ministers 

Signed- Professor Russel Griggs OBE – (Reviewer)

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