SEPA chief executive Terry A'Hearn: 'We want to do an additional period of consultation to what we would often do.'
SEPA chief executive Terry A'Hearn: "We want to do an additional period of consultation to what we would often do."

SEPA takes its aquaculture plan on the road

The first of nine community drop-in events offering people on the west coast and in the highland and islands the chance to find out more about the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s new Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan will be held this week.


SEPA staff will be on hand in the Glenhoy Suite at the Auchrannie Resort on Arran on Thursday, November 15 to tell visitors about the plan and answer their questions. The event will run from 2.30pm until 6.30pm.

Further drop-in events are planned in the coming weeks for Skye, Harris, Ullapool, Orkney, Shetland, Lochgilphead, Mull and lastly Fort William on December 6.

SEPA drop-in events

  • Arran: Thursday, November 15, 2.30pm – 6.30pm, Auchrannie Resort, Glenhoy Suite, Auchrannie Road, Isle of Arran, KA27 8BZ
  • Skye: Tuesday, Nov 20, 2.30pm – 7.30pm, Skye Gathering Hall, 1934 Bank St, Portree, IV51 9DD
  • Harris: Thursday, Nov 22, 2.30pm – 7.30pm, Harris Hotel, Scott Road, Tarbert, Isle of Harris, HS3 3DL
  • Ullapool: Friday, Nov 23, 2.30pm – 7.30pm, Macphail Centre, 5 Mill Street, Ullapool, IV26 2UN
  • Orkney: Tuesday, Nov 27, 2.30pm – 7.30pm, Kirkwall & St Ola Community Centre, Broad Street, Kirkwall, KW15 1DH
  • Shetland: Wednesday, Nov 28, 3pm – 7.30pm, Shetland Museums & Archives, Hay's Dock, Lerwick, Shetland, ZE1 0WP
  • Lochgilphead: Tuesday, December 4, 2.30pm – 7pm, Lochgilphead Community Education Centre, Manse Brae, Lochgilphead, PA31 8XQ
  • Mull: Wednesday, Dec 5, 2.30pm – 7.30pm, Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, Craignure, Isle of Mull, PA65 6BB
  • Fort William: Thursday, Dec 6, 2.30pm – 7.30pm, The Nevis Centre, Studio Room, An Aird, Fort William, PH33 6AN

SEPA’s draft plan for the finfish aquaculture sector was published last Wednesday and outlines stricter standards for organic waste deposited by fish farms and for licensing medicines. It also proposes enhanced environmental monitoring and creation of new SEPA enforcement unit.

Extra consultation

The drop-in events are part of a Scotland-wide consultation exercise SEPA is carrying out before finalising its plan.

In a video on the SEPA website, chief executive Terry A’Hearn said: “As it’s such an important overhaul, we want to do an additional period of consultation to what we would often do. So, over the next couple of months we’re going to undertake an intensive period of consultation.”

In a statement on its website, SEPA says: “Recognising the diverse range of views on finfish aquaculture, we are keen to hear directly from individuals, interest groups, NGOs, communities, companies and others with a view on the regulatory proposals.

“Across November and December we will gather feedback to shape the future of how we regulate the finfish aquaculture sector. We want our communities to inform and enrich the decisions we take every day to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment.

“Community drop-in events will give you the chance to speak with a range of SEPA staff, find out more about the proposals and answer your questions.”

Members of the public can comment on the proposals by visiting SEPA’s website, here.

The consultation closes on December 24.

No booking is required for the drop-in events