Scots launch Technical Standards for Fin Fish Aquaculture
EU Fish News, 15 June 2015
A TECHNICAL Standard for finfish aquaculture has been published by the Scottish Government, to help ensure all the country’s farms have the appropriate equipment and operational procedures to prevent escapes.
The standard applies to the farming of all species of finfish in Scotland, with all equipment expected to meet the requirements by 2020 and it follows wide-ranging industry and service sector engagement.
The purpose of the standard is to help prevent escapes as a result of technical failure and related issues. It is a key output of the Ministerial Group for Sustainable Aquaculture (MGSA) and has been developed by an expert group comprising finfish farmers and trade associations, fish farm equipment suppliers and manufacturers (nets, pens and moorings), insurers, researchers, engineers and regulators.
The standard covers design, construction, materials, manufacture, installation, maintenance and size of equipment. It also takes account of site-specific environmental conditions such as wave height, wind and current speeds; flood risk assessments for land-based, pond and raceway sites; and is future-proofed for technological developments, novel farming approaches, and moves to higher energy sites or climatic changes.
The initiative will be implemented by a regulation under the Aquaculture & Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013. It should be used alongside operational procedures, codes of practice, operators’ manuals, and the training of operatives to ensure equipment is used appropriately and that procedures are followed correctly.
Scotland’s Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Dr Aileen McLeod, said: “I welcome this technical standard, which is a key output of my Ministerial Working Group charged with minimising fish escapes across Scotland.
“The Standard, along with a trained workforce, should reinforce industry’s improved record on containment and help to significantly reduce the risk of escapes in the future.
“Aquaculture is already worth £1.75 billion to our economy and vital, economically and socially, to many of our most remote rural communities which depend on aquaculture as an economic mainstay. Preventing valuable stock loss brings environmental and economic benefits.”