MSPs will visit Scottish Sea Farms' Dunstaffnage site near Oban as part of a fact-finding trip.

MSPs to see salmon farming up close

Rural Affairs Committee will visit hatchery and marine farm


Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee will learn more about salmon farming as part of a fact-finding visit to Crianlarich and Oban this coming Sunday and Monday.

The purpose of the trip is to develop the Committee’s practical understanding of how some of Scotland’s key sectors operate, key challenges facing these sectors and how they can be supported in the future. The trip includes a visit on Monday to the Scottish Sea Farms’ hatchery at Barcaldine, near Oban, and its Dunstaffnage marine farm.

The MSPs due to visit are committee convenor Finley Carson (Conservative); deputy convenor Beatrice Wishart (Lib Dem); Karen Adam (SNP); Arianne Burgess (Scottish Green); Jim Fairlie (SNP); Rachael Hamilton (Conservative); Jenni Minto (SNP); and Mercedes Villalba (Labour).

They will be hosted by Hamish Macdonell, strategic engagement director for trade body Salmon Scotland; SSF managing director Jim Gallagher; and SSF’s head of sustainability and development Anne Anderson.

Proper understanding

Finlay Carson: Visit "will provide us with the insight we need to be able to deliver positive outcomes."

The two-day trip by the RAINE Committee also includes visits to Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Hill and Mountain Research Centre based at Kirkton House and Auchtertyre Farms, Crianlarich, to discuss land management systems and policies, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science Enterprise Seaweed Academy, the UK’s only dedicated seaweed industry facility.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Carson said: “Over the next few months, the Committee’s scrutiny will focus heavily on agriculture policy, aquaculture and fisheries management and so it’s important that we have a proper understanding of the issues being faced by these sectors.

“Our visit to Crainlarich and Oban will provide us with the insight we need to be able to deliver positive outcomes for these industries and effectively hold the Scottish Government to account on the key issues affecting them.”

To further bolster their fact-finding in relation to aquaculture and fisheries management, the Committee also intends to hold a roundtable evidence session with inshore fisheries stakeholders and to further engage with coastal community groups.