Aquaculture shellfish working group minutes: 3 October 2019

Minutes of the meeting on the Shellfish Working Group from 3 October 2019.

Attendees and apologies


Alastair Mitchell, Scottish Government Marine Scotland 
Fiona Watt, Scottish Government Marine Scotland 
Jill Barber, Scottish Government Marine Scotland 
David Lister , Scottish Government Environmental Quality
Nick Lake, Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers  
Alex Adrian, Crown Estate Scotland 
Jacqui McElhiney, Food Standards Scotland 
Mark Harvey, Highland Council
Margaret Gillon, Orkney Islands Council 
David Donnan, Scottish Natural Heritage 
Steven Cameron, Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group
Calum McPhail, Scottish Environment Protection Agency 
Michael Tait (Telecon) , Shetland Mussels
Ruth Henderson (Telecon), Shetland Seafood


Mark Woolard, Loch Fyne Oysters.

Items and actions


This industry group will address key shellfish industry issues, identifying development barriers and growth blockers, through focused discussion for early resolution/outcomes, holding single issue meetings as required. The group is independent of the Aquaculture Industry Liaison Group with AM and MT maintaining the link.

Terms of Reference (TOR)

The group’s TOR (circulated) complements Aquaculture Industry Liaison Group's work within the 2030 growth framework. 

2030 targets and strategy

MT has circulated an industry tracker, identifying development blockers, and signposting work required to meet 2030 targets, a useful tool for the group to track progress and set future Shellfish Working Group meeting agendas

Actions: Send comments on tracker to MT by Aug 2020 - all


Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers - trade body with key development role, engaging with all aspects of government to ensure efficiencies of process and promotion of industry development and growth. 

Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group – A co-operative of 19 shellfish farmers in Scotland supplying over 85% of Scottish farmed mussel production. . 

Scottish Environment Protection Agency - Leads on Shellfish Water Protected Areas, environmental protection and compliance, supporting a circular sustainable economy.  

Environmental Quality Divistion – Support Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s sector plans, engaging with Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers and SSF on Shellfish Water Protected Areas improvement measures and to identify new areas for designation. 

Seafood Shetland - Represents the interests of Shetland’s shellfish growing sector. 

Scottish Natural Heritage - Advises farmers and regulators taking into account climate change, conservation, policy, legislation and regulation handling.  

Issue prioritisation 

Industry priorities for the group to consider should closely align with the points raised at the Shellfish Summit in September 2016. These are:

  • 21 tonne limit
  • market contraction
  • buddy system for start ups
  • monitoring results and proactive publication
  • classification/biotxin and monitoring/streamlining
  • planning fees
  • climate change    
  • real time shellfish growing water classification
  • covid impacts/shellfish recovery plan
  • research and development
  • company fragility
  • Shellvolution
  • data collection and use
  • shetland example
  • development one stop shop
  • small farm start ups
  • finance and investment
  • spat supply and demand
  • food safety services costs    

Shellfish Critical Mass Development Plan Pilot - Clyde

AA circulated the final report of this study, which will  help inform industry and Government to work together to realise the sector's potential, delivering benefits to coastal communities.

The study focuses on commercial-scale mussel farming in the wider Firth of Clyde and its sea-lochs, and includes the scale needed for commercially viable sites, the type of locations which could support sites; and consenting considerations. The final report of this two-part project (by CES and the ASSG), identifies ways to support sector development.  The final report was published in November 2019:

Action: comments to AA  - all by Nov 2019

Action: Feedback on study at next meeting  - AA

Any other business

MT has issued a shellfish sector questionnaire to steer research and development spat/hatchery.  The results will be published by the ASSG conference (March 2021).

Action: Update group on Shellvolution at next meeting - MT

Action: Circulate and publish minutes of meeting - FW by 3 Aug 2020

Action: Add outputs and actions to tracker - MT by end  Aug 2020

Action: Ask industry for key issues to be circulated ahead of next meeting for  appropriate players to develop ideas between meetings - FW by 3 Aug 2020

Date of next meeting

Two-topic agenda (TBC) – finance and FSS classifications suggested.

Action Send doodle for date in September 2020



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