SHETLAND SALMON FARMERS PROPOSE ENVIRONMENTAL AND MARKETING DEVELOPMENTS FOR £1 MILLION SEABED RENTAL Print Article
Posted on: 30/8/2001
Shetland Salmon Farmers Association has drawn up a proposal detailing how the £1 million annual rental levied against the industry, in Shetland alone, by the Crown Estate could be used to safeguard the long-term sustainability of salmon farming. The proposal, presented to the Crown Estate, highlights environmental improvements and marketing as two key issues to be developed.
Commenting on the submission, which has the backing of both the local MSP and MP, David Sandison, general manager of the Shetland Salmon Farmers Association, said: "We are proposing that the additional tax burden imposed on the industry by the Crown Estate, as ‘landlords’ of the seabed be used to maintain a pristine environment and to support the marketing efforts of the industry throughout Scotland.
"There has been a great deal of pressure on the industry recently over aspects of its farming techniques and impact on the environment. We need to build on the significant strides already being made in Shetland to protect the environment, ensure that our farming practices produce superior quality fish, and, in turn, develop our marketing and promotional efforts for the product."
"Scottish salmon farmers are subject to normal corporation taxes and should not have to bear an additional burden which puts them at a distinct disadvantage to their competitors in other salmon producing countries. By accepting this proposal, the Crown Estate can support the industry by investing the annual rental into the future viability and sustainability of the industry."
"At present, the seabed rental for the Scottish salmon farming industry goes to the UK Treasury, with the exception of a fund for environmental sustainability projects of approximately £200,000."
The proposal has the full backing of Shetland’s MSP, Tavish Scott, and MP, Alistair Carmichael. Tavish Scott said, "The Crown Estate has used the salmon farming industry as a milch cow, taking huge sums of money from salmon farmers while returning only a fraction to support their initiatives.
"It is simply not acceptable that an industry so important to the Highlands and Islands, a peripheral area already handicapped by high transport costs, should be targeted by the Crown Estate. This latest very welcome move by the SSFA gives us another chance to renew the campaign to drive the Crown Estate out of the waters."
"Working together with Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael over the coming months, I want to build an alliance of Highlands and Islands MPs and MSPs, councils and businesses to pressurise the Westminster Government to deprive the Crown Estate of their control of our seabed."
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