From left: Kames chair Stuart Cannon; Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon; Kames marketing and communications manager Cate Cannon; and managing director Andrew Cannon.

Trout farmer seeking action to go with aquaculture vision’s words

Kames MD praises open dialogue between sector and the Scottish Government 

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The managing director of Scottish steelhead trout farmer Kames is hoping the Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture published by the Scottish Government today will support innovation and diversity in the sector.

Andrew Cannon was speaking following a visit by Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon to the company’s headquarters at Loch Melfort, Argyll, earlier this week.

Gougeon and the BBC were welcomed to Kames to discuss the Vision, with the BBC interviewing the minister and the Kames team to highlight their sustainability targets for the future. The Vision acknowledges aquaculture’s crucial role in providing food security and a healthy diet, and also has a strong emphasis on continuing to improve the sector’s sustainability.

Working collaboratively

Cannon said: “It’s encouraging there is an open dialogue between the sector and government that will enable progression to a more sustainable future for aquaculture. We can only really tackle these sustainability challenges, such as climate change and environmental impact, by working collectively and collaboratively, and through better education and discourse with the research institutes and public bodies.

“We hope this Vision document triggers action, further than just words, within the industry. We are proud to be a Scottish owned, award-winning family company, but we need support to keep the innovation and diversity that SMEs like us bring to the table alive, alongside economic growth. The Vision supports this view, and we look forward to seeing the action to come and more innovation and diversity in aquaculture.”

Cate Cannon, left, at the cage edge with Mairi Gougeon.

Gougeon said: “I was delighted to visit Kames Scotland and to learn more about its focus on the future and sustainability. It was interesting to learn about Kames’ Future50 programme and their planned investment into their business, community, and local environment.

“We have many examples in Scotland of what aquaculture brings to Scotland’s economy no, and can do in the future – Kames Scotland shows the role Scottish, family-owned businesses can play.”

Kames Fish Farming is Scotland’s oldest family-owned fish farm, established in 1972. It is expanding production of its own strain of steelhead (seagoing rainbow trout) from around 3,000 to 6,000 tonnes over the next three to five years.