Salmon Farming in Scotland


About the Inquiry

The Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee agreed its approach to this inquiry at its meeting on 31 January 2018.

The Committee agreed that the inquiry would focus solely on the farmed salmon sector.


To consider the current state of salmon industry in Scotland, identify opportunities for its future development and explore how the various fish health and environmental challenges it currently faces can be addressed.

SPICe Briefings

SPICe Briefing: Salmon Farming in Scotland

A report commissioned by SPICe and undertaken by SAMS Research Services Ltd (SRSL) on a review of environmental impacts of salmon farming in Scotland is available here. This report contains a review of literature on the environmental impacts of salmon farming in Scotland, the scale of the impacts and approaches to mitigating the impacts. This provides an update of the Scottish Government commissioned report: Review and synthesis of the environmental impacts of aquaculture, published in 2002.


7 March Evidence session with aquaculture research bodies. Confirmed witnesses include: Scottish Association Marine Science; University of Stirling Insititute for Aquaculture; Steve Westbrook.
14 March Evidence session with environmental organisations. Confirmed witnesses include: Scottish Environment LINK, Salmon & Trout Conservation, Fisheries Management Scotland, Lochaber District salmon Fishery Board.
18 April Evidence session with regulatory bodies. Confirmed witnesses include: Scottish Natural Hertiage, Highland Council, SEPA and the Crown Estate.
 25 April Evidence session with development bodies. Confirmed witnesses include: Scotland Food & Drink, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre
 2 May Evidence session with salmon farming representatives. Confirmed witnesses include Marine Harvest, Scottish Salmon Company, Grieg Seafood, Gael Force Group and SSPO
 9 May Evidence session with the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity


The Committee launched a call for views on 8 February which ran to Friday 27 April.

The call for evidence is now closed - no further submissions will be accepted.

Read the written submissions received

Visits and Events

Meeting with the Norwegian Fisheries Minister

In March 2018, Members met with the Norwegian Fisheries Minister, Per Sandberg to discuss aquaculture and Brexit, as well as the Committee’s inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland. Norwegian officials provided the Committee with further information on salmon farming regulation in Norway following the meeting.

Video conference with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council

In April 2018, Members held an informal video-conference with staff from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council as part of their inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland.

Committee visit to a salmon fishery

As part of the Committee's inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland, Members visited a salmon fishery at River Lochy, Drimsaille Mill Salmon Hatchery, Marine Harvest facilities at Lochailort Recirculation Hatchery and Gorsten Fish Farm. Marine Harvest provided the Committee with information following the visit -


Work by other Committees

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee agreed at its meeting on 23 January 2018 to undertake an inquiry in relation the environmental implications of salmon farming.

The outcome of this work was a report to the REC Committee to inform its aquaculture inquiry.


The Committee published its report on the inquiry on 27 November 2018.

The Committee received two responses to its report -

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