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Salmon farmers Zoom in on Scottish growth potential

An aerial view of a salmon farm by Appin in the west Highlands. Photo: SAIC.
An aerial view of a salmon farm by Appin in the west Highlands. Photo: SAIC.

Salmon farmers Mowi and Scottish Sea Farms will be among organisations taking part in an online event to celebrate and explore the growth potential of Scotland’s aquaculture sector.

‘A Meeting of Minds’ has been organised by Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), and will be staged on Zoom on Thursday, November 26 from 10.30am until noon.

The event brings together leading businesses and organisations involved in Scottish aquaculture for insights into key areas of development for the sector. Speakers from Mowi, SSF, aquaculture supplier Scale AQ, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO), SAIC, rural skills organisation Lantra and multi-disciplinary consultancy business Northern Light will share ideas and inspiration for the future. Topics covered will include sustainability, business development and growth opportunities, innovations, career paths and skills training.

Frazer Coupland: Aquaculture is a hugely important sector for the west Highlands. Photo: Lochaber Chamber of Commerce.
Frazer Coupland: Aquaculture is a hugely important sector for the west Highlands. Photo: Lochaber Chamber of Commerce.

8,800 jobs

Frazer Coupland, chief executive of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting this event that brings people from across aquaculture together. It’s a hugely important sector for the west Highlands with fantastic potential for the future.”

Aquaculture contributes £1.8 billion annually to the Scottish economy, mostly through salmon farming, and employs more than 8,800 people, many in rural communities. 

Research for the sector shows that through sustainable growth, the sector has the potential to double its annual contribution to the economy to £3.6bn or more by 2030. The number of jobs supported could reach 18,000.

SAIC chief executive Heather Jones said: “Aquaculture is an incredibly important part of the economic fabric of Scotland’s rural communities. The sector, directly and indirectly, supports thousands of highly skilled jobs across the country, with more likely to be created as it sustainably grows in the years to come. I look forward to discussing the many opportunities that lie ahead at ‘A Meeting of Minds’, as well as how businesses in Lochaber and beyond can support and help unlock the sector’s ambitions.”

Tavish Scott: Will speak for the SSPO at the Zoom event. Photo: SSPO.
Tavish Scott: Will speak for the SSPO at the Zoom event. Photo: SSPO.

Close to local people

Tavish Scott, the recently appointed chief executive of the SSPO, will speak at the event.

“I am pleased to join this event from Lochaber Chamber and SAIC in highlighting the importance of aquaculture and introducing Scottish salmon’s new Sustainable Charter which reflects the importance of our sector being close to local people in the decisions we make that affect them,” said Scott.

Places at the free event can be booked by visiting  www.lochaberchamber.co.uk/events or searching for ‘A Meeting of Minds’ on https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/.