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The Scottish shellfish industry's recently published policy agenda highlighted the considerable challenges facing the industry and the need for more support.

In a letter published in the newspaper Scotsman, Doug McLeod - chairman of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers – stated that the industry needed commitment from the government:

“There are 173 companies involved in the shellfish industry north of the Border.

“Production totalled some 5,000 tonnes last year, with an estimated retail sale value of around £16 million.

“However, while we have a huge potential for growth, major expansion will need the kind of support competitors in other EU states enjoy. In Ireland, for example, the government has pledged £68 million over the next ten years,” he wrote.

McLeod also stated that the “inflexible” approach taken to the implementation of regulations was deeply harmful to the industry.

“If we are to ensure the industry reaches its full potential and meets increasing global demand, we are looking to the parliament and Executive to create a climate that will allow it to thrive,” he concluded.