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The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella opened on May 16, 2019, the 2019 European Maritime Day conference in Lisbon whose main focus was boosting a “blue” economy. The EC also launched the second edition of its Blue Economy Report.

Commissioner Vella said: “Coastal regions are home to 214 million people and generate 43% of EU GDP. Today’s report confirms the blue economy’s role as an exciting growth sector, with opportunities both in established sectors like tourism and shipbuilding, and in emerging areas like ocean energy or the blue bioeconomy. Yet we also know that blue economy start-ups and small companies often struggle to get their good ideas off the ground. That is why the European Commission is currently developing an investment-readiness support tool to help them mature and eventually access the funding they need to scale up.”

Commissioner Vella reiterated the key role of oceans – in particular ocean energy – towards achieving a carbon-free Europe by 2050. This year’s blue economy report incorporates various new elements and content, including the maritime defence and the maritime equipment sectors. A preliminary analysis by sea basin has been added, as well as a number of in-depth case studies, e.g. on the economic impacts of marine protected areas or the contribution of the research and education sector to blue economy jobs. Finally, the second edition comprises a section on ecosystem services and natural capital, addressing the costs and economic impact of climate change and mitigation measures.

Blue Indicators IT tool, also launched on May 16, will allow citizens to easily visualise, extract and download much of the report data. Users will also be able to download the full report, as well as the accompanying infographics and detailed methodology.

In addition to the report launch, the European Commission used European Maritime Day to update participants in-depth about several other ongoing maritime policy initiatives:

  • the Technical Assistance facility for Investment in the Blue Economy, which will assume its activities before summer and help blue economy start-ups and SMEs to become bankable for future calls within a planned Blue Economy Investment Platform.
  • the launch of the operational phase of the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE), an important building block of the overall EU maritime surveillance framework, with the involvement of the European Maritime Safety Agency.
  • progress on the ocean literacy platform ‘EU4Oceans’, to be launched in autumn, which will bring together European groups, networks and organisations active in ocean preservation and ocean literacy, thereby paving the way for a ‘European Ocean Alliance’. The ongoing call for tenders closes on 14 June.

Background:

Established in 2008, European Maritime Day has become an annual meeting place for maritime professionals, entrepreneurs and ocean leaders. With more than 1400 registered participants from 53 countries this year, European Maritime Day is the Commission’s biggest maritime policy event. The two-day conference will see more than 150 speakers take the floor, including during 8 breakout sessions organised by the Commission, 28 workshops organised by blue economy stakeholders, and 21 pitch presentations. More than 140 B2B meetings have been scheduled. The accompanying exhibition will host 101 exhibitors, a record for EMD. This year’s edition was organised together with the Portuguese Ministry of the Sea and the City of Lisbon.

More information

European Maritime Day

Blue economy report

Blue Indicators tool

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Below (un-edited) is the text of the February 1, 2019, Cooke Inc. press release:

 ************* 

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA and DELI, HONDURAS – February 1, 2019 – Cooke Inc. (“Cooke”), a New Brunswick company and parent of Cooke Aquaculture Inc., today announced the completion of its acquisition of the business of the Seajoy Seafood Corporation group, one of the largest vertically integrated, premium shrimp farms in Latin America.

“The acquisition of Seajoy is an important element in our focus on product diversification to meet our customers’ needs,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc. “Seajoy is a world-leading shrimp producer utilizing the highest quality and food safety standards and newest available technology. This aligns perfectly with our existing aquaculture and wild seafood fishery divisions. We feel Seajoy’s entrepreneurial drive, industry knowledge and care for their communities has made them successful and a big reason why we feel this is an incredible cultural fit.

Seajoy Seafood Corporation group has a focus on producing value-added and organic Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and selling to customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company runs world class operations from ‘egg to plate’ and many of its 1,400 employees have significant long-term experience in the industry. Seajoy’s shrimp farms are located in Honduras and Nicaragua including processing plants, hatcheries, and breeding programs.

Seajoy carries a brand synonymous with product excellence and environmental leadership. Seajoy carries certifications for producing environmentally and socially responsible seafood from the GAA (Global Aquaculture Alliance), 4-star BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices), EU Organic, ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council), SMETA (social) and the UK BRC (British Retail Consortium).

“We founded Seajoy in Ecuador in 1979 just six years before the Cooke family started Cooke Aquaculture in New Brunswick in 1985,” said Peder Jacobson, former CEO of Seajoy. “Our families drive as pioneering entrepreneurs and our employees determination over the years has resulted in two successful independent seafood companies and now I am extremely pleased to have Seajoy join the Cooke family of companies.”

The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed as both companies are private family-owned businesses. Cooke Inc. was advised by the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and the accounting firm Deloitte. SeaJoy was advised by the investment bank Tully and Holland Inc. and the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP.

-30-

About Cooke Inc.

The Cooke Inc. family of companies includes global aquaculture divisions including its wholly owned subsidiary Cooke Aquaculture Inc. and Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd, as well as seafood and wild fishery divisions under Cooke Seafood USA, Inc., Icicle Seafoods, Inc., Wanchese Fish Company, Inc. and Omega Protein. Cooke Aquaculture Inc. is a vertically-integrated family company based in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada, with salmon farming operations in Atlantic Canada, the United States, Chile and Scotland as well as seabass and seabream farming operations in Spain. Cooke ships fresh, sustainable True North Seafood branded products to over 67 countries.

For the second year in a row, Cooke Inc. earned the #1 spot on the SeafoodSource list of Top 10 North American Seafood Suppliers and Cooke Aquaculture Inc. was once again recognized as a Platinum Member of one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. Cooke Aquaculture Inc. was recently recognized as the top private growth company in Canada by Grant Thornton and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Source: Cooke Aqua PR (01.02.2019): https://www.cookeseafood.com/2019/02/01/cooke-inc-acquires-seajoy-seafood/

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Seafish, the UK public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, has released today (January 17, 2019) a guide to support seafood businesses in preparing for Brexit.

UK Seafood Industry Guide – Preparing your Business for EU Exit has been produced by Seafish’s regulation team to provide practical guidance to seafood businesses on day-to-day scenarios likely to be encountered from 29 March.

Designed to be accessible and user-friendly, the guide brings together technical notices, government communications and other relevant information to help seafood businesses to prepare for Brexit, whatever form it might take.

Topics covered by the guide include:

  • Food safety
  • Traceability
  • Product labelling
  • Protected Geographical Indicators (PGIs)
  • Importing and exporting to EU and non-EU countries

It also signposts businesses to information and resources less specific to seafood sector.

Launching the guide, Seafish Head of Regulation Fiona Wright commented:

“While no one can provide all of the answers to the questions raised by leaving the EU and the form it will take, our guide to preparing your business for EU exit provides practical advice that seafood businesses can take now to prepare for all contingencies.

“We will continue to update this guide on our website as further information becomes available, as part of our continuing work of interpreting and understanding the changing landscape and identifying risks and promoting opportunities for the entire seafood sector.”

UK Seafood Industry Guide – Preparing your Business for EU Exit can be accessed on the Seafish website. It will continue to be updated and reviewed as new information comes to light.

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Below, unedited, is the European Commission (EC, DG Mare)’s January 8, 2019 press release:

Commission lifts “yellow card” from Thailand for its actions against illegal fishing

Brussels, 8 January 2019

The European Commission delists Thailand from the group of “warned countries” as recognition of its progress in tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Today the Commission acknowledges that Thailand has successfully addressed the shortcomings in its fisheries legal and administrative systems. For this reason it lifts the so-called “yellow card”, in place since April 2015, a warning from the EU that the country at the time was not sufficiently tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Today’s decision reverses the first step of a process that could have led to a complete import ban of marine fisheries products into the EU.

European Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing damages global fish stocks but it also hurts the people living from the sea, especially those already vulnerable to poverty. Fighting illegal fishing is therefore a priority for the EU. I am excited that today we have a new committed partner in this fight.”

Since the yellow card was issued, the Commission and Thailand have engaged in a constructive process of cooperation and dialogue. This has resulted in a major upgrade of the Thai fisheries governance in accordance with the international commitments of the country.

Thailand has amended its fisheries legal framework in line with international law of the sea instruments. It has reinforced compliance with its obligations as a flag, port, coastal and market State, included clear definitions in its legislation and set up a deterrent regime of sanctions. Moreover, it has reinforced the mechanisms of control of the national fishing fleet and enhanced its monitoring, control and surveillance systems. This includes remote monitoring of fishing activities and a robust scheme of inspections at port.

With these measures, Thai authorities now have all the necessary policies in place to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Thailand plays a central role in the international supply chain for fisheries products. The highly developed Thai processing industry relies on raw materials from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. As party to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization Port States Measures Agreement, Thailand has reinforced controls over landings of foreign fishing vessels in Thai ports and strengthened cooperation with flag States in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The reinforcement of the fisheries legal and administrative systems in Thailand could therefore trigger a multiplier effect in the global sustainability of fisheries resources.

The Commission also recognises the efforts demonstrated by Thailand to tackle human trafficking and to improve labour conditions in the fishing sector. While not part of the bilateral dialogue on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the Commission and the European External Action Service have addressed with Thai authorities the serious human rights abuses and forced labour in the fishing industry. Thailand has recently announced the ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention No. 188 on Work in Fishing (C188), the first country in Asia to do so.

The Commission congratulates the Thai Government on this commitment and stands ready to further support Thailand in its declared ambition to set an example for the region, not least through the EU-Thailand Labour Dialogue.

The Commission will continue to work closely with Thailand to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to promote decent work conditions in the fishing industry.

Background

The global value of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is estimated at 10-20 billion euros per year. Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish are caught illegally a year, corresponding to at least 15% of world catches. The EU is the world’s biggest importer of fisheries products.

Fighting illegal fishing is part of the EU’s commitment to ensure sustainable use of the sea and its resources, under the common fisheries policy. It is also an important pillar of the EU’s ocean governance strategy, aiming to improve the international governance of the oceans.

The Commission’s Decision is based on the EU’s ‘Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Regulation’, which entered into force in 2010[1]. This instrument ensures that only fisheries products that have been certified as legal can access the EU market. The prime objective of the EU’s IUU process is to enter into dialogue and offer support to third countries. These dialogues often lead to new, committed partners in the fight against IUU fishing.

Since November 2012 the Commission has been in formal dialogues with 25 third countries (pre-identification or “yellow card”), which have been warned of the need to take effective action to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. When significant progress is observed, the Commission can end the dialogue (lifting the pre-identification status or “green card”). Only a few countries have not shown the necessary commitment to reforms until now. As a result fisheries products caught by vessels from these countries cannot be imported into the EU (identification and listing or “red card”).

For more information

MEMO on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in general and in Thailand

Overview of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing procedures with third countries

[1] Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-61_en.htm

Q&A / Questions and Answers – Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in general and in Thailand

Brussels, 8 January 2019

Questions and Answers.

On IUU fishing in general

What is IUU fishing?

IUU fishing stands for illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing.

The European IUU legislation applies to all fishing vessels, under any flag, in all maritime waters.

A fishing vessel is notably presumed to be engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities if it is shown to carry out activities in contravention with the conservation and management measures applicable in the area concerned. This includes, inter alia, fishing without a valid licence, in a closed area, beyond a closed depth or during a closed season, or by using prohibited gear, as well as the failure to fulfil reporting obligations, falsifying its identity, or obstructing the work of inspectors.

Why is the Commission committed to solve the problems of IUU fishing?

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is one of the most serious threats to the sustainable exploitation of living aquatic resources, jeopardising the very foundation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the EU’s international efforts to promote better ocean governance. IUU fishing also represents a major hazard to the marine environment, the sustainability of fish stocks and marine biodiversity. Fighting illegal fishing is also an important pillar in the EU’s ambition to install better international governance of our oceans. 

What is the policy of the EU to fight illegal fishing?

The EU is the world’s largest import market for fisheries products and bears a responsibility as market State to ensure that products stemming from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities do not access the EU single market.

The EU Regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Regulation) entered into force on 1 January 2010. It applies to all landings and transhipments of EU and third-country fishing vessels in European ports, and all trade of marine fishery products to and from the EU. It aims to make sure that no illegally caught fisheries products end up on the EU market.

To achieve this, the Regulation requires flag States to certify the origin and legality of the fish, thereby ensuring the full traceability of all marine fishery products traded from and into the EU. The system thus ensures countries comply with their own conservation and management rules as well as with internationally agreed rules.

How does the EU ensure that third countries exporting their fishery products to the EU comply with their international obligations?

So far, 92 third countries have notified the Commission that they have in place the necessary legal instruments, the dedicated procedures, and the appropriate administrative structures for the certification of the catches by vessels flying their flag.

The Commission cooperates with a number of third countries and carries out evaluation missions to assess their compliance with the international obligations in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The Commission puts emphasis on cooperation to solve problems. Nevertheless, there are third countries where the problematic situation still persists even after years of informal cooperation. In this case, the Commission can resort to the different actions established by the EU IUU Regulation vis-s-vis third countries non-cooperating in fighting IUU fishing.

Concretely, when the Commission has evidence that a third country does not cooperate fully in the fight against IUU fishing, it will issue a yellow card. With this first step of the process, called pre-identification, the European Commission warns the country of the risk of being identified as a non-cooperating country. The yellow card starts a formal dialogue in which the Commission and the third country work together to solve all issues of concern. In most of the cases, this dialogue works well and the pre-identification can be removed (green card).

If however, progress is not sufficient, the Commission will identify the third country as non-cooperating. This is called a “red card”. The Commission will then propose to the Council to add this country to the list of non-cooperating countries. All products for which the catch certificate is validated after that decision will be banned from the EU market.

At every step of the process (yellow/red card or listing), the third country can prove that the situation has been rectified. It will then be delisted (green card).

The infographic provides clear overview of the process. 

Which countries have so far received a yellow or a red card?

Out of the 25 procedures that have started since 2012, only three countries have failed to take sufficient measures to lift the yellow or red card until now. These countries are Cambodia, Comoros, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

A full overview of all past and ongoing procedures can be found here.

On IUU fishing and Thailand 

What are the concrete achievements that led the Commission to lift the yellow card of Thailand?

The decision to lift the IUU yellow card of Thailand follows the constructive cooperation of Thai authorities with the Commission resulting in a comprehensive and structural reform of their fisheries legal and policy systems in order to curb illegal fishing. Measures taken include:

  • Comprehensive review of the fisheries legal framework in line with the International Law of the Sea, including a deterrent sanctions schemes;
  • Full reform of the management of the fleet policy, with sound systems of registration and control of the fishing vessels;
  • Strengthening of the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance tools, including the full coverage with Vessels Monitoring System (VMS) of the industrial fleet and a robust system of inspections at port;
  • Full implementation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Port States Measures agreement on foreign-flagged vessels that land their catches in Thai ports to supply the processing industry;
  • Comprehensive traceability system covering the whole supply chain and all modes of transportation, in line with international standards;
  • Improved administrative procedures as well as training and political support, leading to proper enforcement of legislation;
  • Significant reinforcement of the financial and human resources for the fight against IUU fishing.

What is the EU doing to address human trafficking and forced labour in the Thai fisheries sector?

The EU IUU Regulation does not specifically address working conditions on-board fishing vessels, neither human trafficking. Nonetheless, improvements in the fisheries control and enforcement system on IUU fishing may have a positive impact in the control of labour conditions in the fisheries sector.

Different European Commission services as well as the European External Action Service are working together to tackle the issue of human trafficking and forced labour and share best practices with the Thai authorities. As a result, Thailand was the first country in Asia that ratified the ILO Forced labour Protocol in June 2018.

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The 2018 Economic report of the EU Aquaculture Sector shows a strong and growing sector. In 2016, the EU aquaculture sector has produced and sold 1.4 million tonnes of seafood, worth almost €5 billion. Profits of the sector have doubled between 2014 and 2016. Employment figures demonstrate that aquaculture firms are providing more and more stable employment opportunities.

Economic performance indicators for the EU aquaculture sector, 2016:

Source: STEFC EWG on Aquaculture.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the latest information available on the production, economic value, structure and competitive performance of the aquaculture sector at national and EU levels for the years 2008 to 2016.

The EU aquaculture sector reached 1.4 million tonnes in sales volume and €4.9 billion in value, in 2016. Production has increased by 2.2% yearly between 2014 and 2016 in volume and 3.1% in value. Profit almost doubled over the same period, reaching €0.8 billion total EBIT[1] in 2016. This marks a strong recovery from the bad year of 2013 in most of the large aquaculture countries.

The EU is home to some 12,500 aquaculture enterprises, mostly micro-businesses employing less than 10 employees. Employment has remained stable in terms of total employees (73,000) but has significantly expanded in terms of full-time equivalents: from 36,000 in 2013 to almost 44,000 in 2016. This implies that aquaculture firms are providing more stable employment opportunities.

This positive trend is likely to continue. With investment being significantly higher than depreciation, the sector has a positive perception about its future development.

Large differences across Member States and subsectors

The EU aquaculture sector distinguishes three subsectors: marine, shellfish and freshwater production. With €2,731 million in turnover, marine aquaculture is the largest, followed by shellfish (€1,134 million) and freshwater (€1,028 million) production. The main species produced in terms of value are Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and European seabass.

EU production is dominated by five countries: United Kingdom, France, Greece, Italy and Spain. These countries, each with turnovers between €550 million and €1,100 million, account for roughly 75% of total production volume. At subsector level, this specialisation is even more noticeable.

In the marine sector, the United Kingdom is the main producer of salmon (91% total value), whereas Greece is the main producer of seabream and seabass (47% total value). In the shellfish sector, France produces 86% of the oysters and Spain leads on mussels, covering 45% of the volume. Italy is the main producer of clams (80%).

By far the most frequently farmed freshwater species is trout. Italy (19%), Denmark (17%) and France (14%) are taking the lead. Carp is another important species, especially for Eastern Europe: Poland (24%), Czech Republic (23%) and Hungary (14%).

Also in terms of average wages, there are strong regional differences. The average yearly wage in 2016 was €25,000 per year, corresponding to an annual increase of 3.5% since 2014. However, nominal salaries range from less than €3,000 per year in Bulgaria to about €65,000 a year in the Netherlands or Denmark

Read the full report

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/press/%E2%82%AC5-billion-sales-and-profits-doubled-eu-aquaculture-has-fully-recovered-downturn_en

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Victoria – Friday, December 14, 2018 10:14 AM

A ground-breaking government-to-government process has delivered recommendations that will protect and restore wild salmon stocks, allow an orderly transition plan for open-pen finfish for the Broughton Archipelago and create a more sustainable future for local communities and workers.

The recommendations come out of a process undertaken by the Province and the ‘Namgis First Nation, the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nations and Mamalilikulla First Nation, following a letter of understanding (LOU) regarding the future of finfish aquaculture in the Broughton. The recommendations have been agreed to by the two fish farm operators in the Broughton: Marine Harvest Canada and Cermaq Canada.

“Our governments have come together to help revitalize and protect wild salmon, and provide greater economic certainty for communities and local workers. These are the kinds of gains true reconciliation can deliver,” said Premier John Horgan. “The success of this process shows that when the provincial government and First Nations work together in the spirit of recognition and respect, taking into consideration the concerns of the federal government and industry, we can deliver results in the best interests of all who live and work here.”

“Our Nations, together with many British Columbians, have been raising serious concerns about this industry for decades. We are grateful that governments and industry are finally starting to listen and work with us to find solutions that aim to protect and restore wild salmon and other resources,” said Chief Robert Chamberlin, Elected Chief Councillor of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation and First Nations’ Chair of the steering committee. “There is much that still must be done, but these recommendations are a significant positive step in a better direction.”

The Province and the three First Nations endorse the recommendations, which:

create an orderly transition of 17 farms, operated by Marine Harvest Canada and Cermaq Canada, from the Broughton area between 2019 and 2023;

establish a farm-free migration corridor in the Broughton in the short term to help reduce harm to wild salmon;

develop a First Nations-led monitoring and inspection program to oversee those farms during the transition, which will include compliance requirements and corrective measures;

implement new technologies to address environmental risks including sea lice;

call for immediate action to enhance wild salmon habitat restoration and rehabilitation in the Broughton;

confirm a willingness to work together to put into place the agreements and protocols necessary to implement the recommendations, including continued collaboration with the federal government; and

secure economic development and employment opportunities by increasing support for First Nations implementation activities and industry transition opportunities outside the Broughton.

The Province, First Nations and industry are committed to working with the federal government to implement the recommendations.

“These recommendations show that we can implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and find respectful solutions in a timely manner,” Chamberlin said. “This process respected the need for Indigenous peoples’ consent and allowed us to work together to establish an orderly transition of the finfish farm tenures, while recognizing the needs of other governments, industry and local communities.”

On a tenure-by-tenure basis, the recommendations provide for an orderly transition of 17 fish-farm sites between 2019 and 2023. Some farms will be immediately decommissioned; some will remain in operations for various terms (two to four years). By the end 2022, 10 farms will have ceased operations.  The remaining seven farms will cease operations, unless First Nations-industry agreements and valid Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) licences are in place by 2023.

“The process that was established was an incredible opportunity for all parties to work together to find a solution that could be accepted by all. I want to thank the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla Nations, as well as Cermaq and Marine Harvest, for working in good faith. I’m very proud of what was accomplished,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture.

The recommendations provide for a transition that allows industry to respond and provides an opportunity for transparent monitoring and oversite. Further, the recommendations include timeframes for both transition action and broader monitoring plans – proposed as January and March 2019, respectively.

The Province continues to engage in consultation on the tenures with other First Nations in the area who decided not to participate in the letter of understanding.

Quotes:

Diane Morrison, managing director, Marine Harvest –

“We approached these discussions seeking solutions that would both address the concerns of the First Nations and maintain our commitment to the well-being of our employees, support businesses and stakeholders. Going forward, we see the implementation of the recommendations as a positive step toward building mutual goodwill, trust, and respect as we work to earn First Nations consent of our operations in their Territories.”

David Kiemele, managing director, Cermaq Canada –

“We would like to thank the Broughton LOU steering committee for their openness to dialogue and we are pleased to move forward, together, in a way which will help to protect and enhance wild salmon populations and ensure the continued sustainable and responsible production of farmed salmon for generations to come. We are also committed to participating in the creation of the Indigenous monitoring and inspection program which establishes transparent oversight of our operations.”

Learn More:

Steering committee recommendations: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Steering_Committee_Broughton_Recommendations.pdf

For the technical deck, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Technical_Deck_Broughton_Recommendations.pdf

Two backgrounders follow.

///////////

Aquaculture in B.C. and the Broughton process – B.C. salmon farm tenure policy

In June, 2018 the Government of British Columbia announced a new policy guiding the licensing of aquaculture land tenures within the province.

Beginning in June 2022, the Province will grant Land Act tenures only to fish farm operators who have satisfied Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) that their operations will not adversely impact wild salmon stocks, and who have negotiated agreements with the First Nation(s) in whose territory they propose to operate.

The year 2022 aligns with the current renewal date of the substantial majority of fish licences issued by DFO. Operations with expired provincial tenures, or tenures that expire before June 2022, may operate with month-to-month tenures.

Broughton process

On Jan. 30, 2018, the Government of British Columbia and Broughton-area First Nations began initial discussions to resolve long-standing concerns regarding specific farms in the Broughton Archipelago.

In June 2018, the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations and the Province signed a letter of understanding, formalizing their ongoing talks regarding salmon aquaculture in the Broughton area, and establishing a joint decision-making process.

Between June and November 2018, the steering committee heard from and engaged with representatives from the DFO, Cermaq Canada and Marine Harvest Canada.

On Nov. 30, 2018, the Broughton steering committee, made up of members from the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations, and the Province of British Columbia, submitted their consensus recommendations. These recommendations include:

2019 – four farms close.

2020 – two farms close, with decommissioning of one of those farms extending into 2021.

2021 – one farm closes, with decommissioning extending until 2022.

2022 – three farms close, with decommissioning extending until 2023; and three farms have the potential to continue operations subject to securing First Nations – industry agreements and valid DFO licences. Additional time is required for decommissioning.

2023 – four tenures have potential to continue operations subject to securing First Nations  – industry agreements and valid DFO licences. Additional time is required for decommissioning.

First Nations Monitoring and Inspection Program

Fundamental to achieving the consensus recommendation was the steering committee’s recommendation that a First Nations-led monitoring and inspection program be immediately put in place to oversee the operations of the fish farms during the transition of the tenures.

The First Nations’ monitoring and inspection program will monitor fish health and screen for sea lice, pathogens, disease agents and diseases before and after introduction of fish into the fish farms. The program will improve public reporting and have compliance and corrective measures to ensure the required standards are met.

Federal and provincial aquaculture responsibilities

In 2009, a B.C. Supreme Court decision determined a fish farm operation was a “fishery” within the meaning of section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which give the Parliament of Canada exclusive legislative authority in relation to “seacoast and inland fisheries”.

Following that decision, Canada and British Columbia entered into an agreement on the regulation of aquaculture in the province. The Canada-British Columbia agreement on aquaculture management (2010) sets out the responsibilities of both governments with respect to the management and regulation of the aquaculture sector in B.C., including making best efforts to harmonize their decision-making criteria and synchronize their decision-making processes. Under the agreement:

  • Canada may issue aquaculture licenses under the Fisheries Act for all aquaculture activities to be undertaken in B.C.;
  • C. may issue land tenures under the Land Act for aquaculture purposes; and
  • Canada and B.C. will make best efforts to harmonize their decision-making criteria and synchronize their decision-making process.

Partnering with First Nations to create shared prosperity

In support of its commitment to reconciliation, the provincial government is building government-to-government relationships with Indigenous peoples in B.C. based on partnership, respect and recognition of title and rights. Every B.C. cabinet minister’s mandate letter includes a requirement to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Province is also working with Indigenous partners and industry to put this commitment into action through legislative and policy changes and agreements that advance First Nations’ participation in decision-making and economic activity. This work helps to grow and transform the economy for the benefit of all British Columbians. For example:

A government-to-government process, created in consultation with industry, that has led to agreement on the path forward in the Broughton Archipelago to protect wild salmon, address long-standing First Nations concerns about fish farms and sustain resource jobs in the region.

New legislation on environmental assessment, developed in collaboration with Indigenous partners, that gives First Nations a real and meaningful say in projects happening in their territory. Having Indigenous consent from the beginning means a more certain and efficient process, where good projects can move forward faster.

A major reconciliation agreement with Shíshálh Nation that supports self-determination and economic prosperity by creating new decision-making structures, land-use planning processes, participation in local forestry, and land transfers that provide economic development opportunities to the Nation. Receiving broad support from local industry, the agreement is seen as a model where Indigenous rights, economic growth and protection of the environment can be aligned.

Partnerships between LNG Canada and First Nations that ensure communities benefit from jobs, business opportunities and the increased revenue and growth the LNG project will bring. An understanding of the importance of consultation and meaningful partnership with First Nations has led to support from the Haisla Nation where the facility will be located and community and project agreements with First Nations along the pipeline route. Overall, through the life of the project, LNG Canada will provide billions of dollars to First Nations in capacity-building, training and education, contracting, and employment and community benefits.

Sharing provincial mineral tax revenue from the Brucejack Gold Mine with Tahltan Central Government and Nisga’a Nation (about $7 million and $8 million, respectively, each year), making the Nations partners in a significant resource activity on their territory. This funding will have a positive economic and social effect on communities in these Nations, and benefit the region. The company took a partnership approach from the beginning, setting the stage for a better project to move ahead in a way that respects the rights of First Nations.

Long-term stable funding for First Nations from sharing a portion of gaming revenue, which will be a cornerstone of Budget 2019. The new revenue stream will fund priorities, such as public service capacity, infrastructure, and health and community wellness. The provincial government is working with the First Nations Gaming Commission and First Nations Leadership Council to finalize a structure for revenue sharing and accountability measures, to be made public in February 2019.

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PRs & Media Coverage (Nov. 27.2018) re. RECC Report on “Scottish salmon farming industry”

 

Scottish Parliament PR:

Holyrood Committee releases their findings on the impact of salmon farming

http://www.parliament.scot/newsandmediacentre/110329.aspx

27.11.2018

Urgent action needs to be taken to improve the regulation of the Scottish salmon farming industry and to address fish health and environmental challenges, a Holyrood Committee has concluded.

Following its in-depth inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has determined that, if the industry is to expand, there is a need to introduce enhanced and more effective regulatory standards to ensure that fish health issues are properly managed and the impact on the environment is kept to an absolute minimum.

The Convener of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, Edward Mountain MSP, said:

“The salmon farming industry offers significant economic and social value to Scotland, providing jobs and investment in rural areas. There is a desire within the industry to grow. However, if this is to happen, it is essential that the serious challenges it faces such as the control of sea lice, lowering fish mortality rates and reducing the sector’s impact on the environment are addressed as a priority. Our report contains 65 recommendations on how this should be taken forward.

“If the reputation of Scottish salmon as a premium product is to be maintained, Scotland’s salmon farmers must demonstrate responsible and sustainable production methods. Importantly, the Committee is strongly of the view that the status quo in terms of regulation and enforcement is not acceptable, and that we need to raise the bar in Scotland by setting enhanced and more effective standards.”

In addressing specific fish health challenges, the Committee noted that while there has been a variety of actions by the sector to address sea lice infestations, there is still not an effective way to deal with the parasite. It is strongly of the view that there should be a mandatory approach the reporting of sea lice infestations. The Committee considers that the sea lice compliance policy must be robust and enforceable with appropriate penalties.

The Committee also deems the current level of fish mortalities to be too high in general across the sector and is concerned about extremely high mortality rates at particular sites. It is of the view that no expansion should be permitted at sites which report high or significantly increased levels of mortalities, until these are addressed to the satisfaction of regulators.

In terms of environmental impact, the Committee noted recent SEPA research which concluded that medicine from Scottish salmon farms “is significantly impacting local marine environments”. The Committee is therefore in no doubt that effective regulation of medicine used by the farmed salmon industry is a key requirement. The Committee also considers it to be essential that waste collection and removal from salmon farms is addressed as a matter of urgency.

The Committee makes several recommendations on the siting of salmon farms:

  • A precautionary approach must be taken to address any potential impact of sea lice infestation from salmon farms on wild salmon. There should be an immediate and proactive shift towards locating new farms in more suitable areas away from wild salmon migratory routes.
  • Until such time as an enhanced regulation and enforcement is in place, the precautionary approach to applications for new sites and expansion of existing sites should be firmly and effectively applied. The Scottish Government should provide strong and clear leadership to ensure this occurs.
  • A more strategic approach should be taken to identify those areas across Scotland that are either suitable or unsuitable for siting of salmon farms.
  • There should be immediate dialogue with the industry to identify scope for moving existing poorly sited farms.
  • Examining the scope for siting salmon farms in suitable offshore locations should be treated as a high priority.

The Rural economy and Connectivity Committee launched the enquiry into Salmon Farming in Scotland earlier this year, and took evidence from aquaculture research bodies, environmental organisations, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, salmon farming representatives, and regulatory bodies including Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council, SEPA and the Crown Estate.

Further information on the Committee’s inquiry can be found on its webpage.

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee published their report in March 2018 inform the REC Committee’s wider inquiry into the current state of the industry.

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.

//////////

SSPO PR ???

Media Coverage (Nov. 27.2018 @ 8.30 CET

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-46348359

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/…scotland/…/package-head-60pt-425-words-to-go…

https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/…/scotland/insufficient-evidence-for-salmon-farm-.

https://www.fishfarmingexpert.com/…/scottish-salmon-farmers-must-raise-the-bar-say-…

https://www.heraldscotland.com/…/17257161.salmon-farmers-must-address-serious-c…

www.parliament.scot/newsandmediacentre/110329.aspx

https://www.undercurrentnews.com/…/scottish-govt-committee-proposes-urgent-measure.

S&TCS warmly welcomes the Rural Economy Committee’s report on salmon farming

NB: See the Draft posted here (as ‘The report’): https://www.salmon-trout.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/EMBARGOED-00.01-27.11.18-Salmon-farming-in-Scotland-report.pdf

Scottish Government must now act quickly to put in place greater protection for wild salmon and sea trout.

https://www.salmon-trout.org/2018/11/27/recc-report/

Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) has warmly welcomed the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee’s report on salmon farming, published today.

The report builds on the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee’s report published in March.

Guy Linley-Adams, Solicitor for S&TCS, commented:

“This Report is a strong vindication of the campaign S&TCS has spearheaded for some years now, and the arguments we have been putting forward, often in the face of sharp criticism from both the industry and Scottish Government alike. We are pleased to see that the REC Committee has recognised that the law is currently insufficient to protect wild salmon and sea trout from the damaging impacts of salmon farming.

We now look to Scottish Government to grasp the nettle and move quickly to legislate to improve markedly the protection of wild salmon and sea trout from the negative impacts of salmon farming.”

Key conclusions and recommendations in the REC Committee’s report include:

  • “….if the industry is to grow, the Committee considers it to be essential that it addresses and identifies solutions to the environmental and fish health challenges it faces as a priority” (Recommendation 1)
  • “….urgent and meaningful action needs to be taken to address regulatory deficiencies as well as fish health and environmental issues before the industry can expand” (Recommendation 2)
  • Sea lice triggers to be “…challenging” and Government urged to “set a threshold that is comparable with the highest international industry standards” (Recommendation 15)
  • “…a move away from a voluntary approach to compliance and reporting with regard to sea lice infestation” (Recommendation 16)
  • In relation to breaches of sea lice levels, “enforcement action… has not been sufficiently robust to date. It is therefore of the view that if the revised compliance policy is to be effective it must be robust, enforceable and include appropriate penalties” (Recommendation 17)
  • Sea lice data in real time to be published in real-time, made mandatory and “the data provided should be that which is required to inform the regulatory and enforcement regimes, as opposed to that which the industry itself takes it upon itself to produce” (Recommendations 19 to 21).
  • “the Committee is….of the view that a precautionary approach should be taken which will seek to minimise the potential risk to wild salmon stocks wherever possible” (Recommendation 40)
  • “the Committee suggests that the siting of salmon farms is key to managing any potential risk to wild salmon stocks and ensuring that the sector is managed responsibly” (Recommendation 41)
  • on the issue that none of the existing regulatory bodies currently has responsibility for the impact of salmon farms on wild salmon stocks, “the Committee believes that clarity must be provided by the Scottish Government as to how this apparent regulatory gap will be filled and which agency will assume responsibility for its management”. (Recommendation 44)
  • “The Committee shares the view of the ECCLR Committee that the siting of farms in the vicinity of known migratory routes for wild salmon must be avoided” (Recommendation 45)
  • “The Committee is of the view that a…precautionary approach must be taken in Scotland to assist in mitigating any potential impact of sea lice infestation on wild salmon. It therefore recommends that there should be an immediate and proactive shift towards siting new farms in more suitable areas away from migratory routes and that this should be highlighted in the strategic guidance on the siting of salmon farms”. (Recommendation 46)

Andrew Graham-Stewart, Director of S&TCS, said:

“Scottish Government has a clear duty to safeguard the coastal environment and those species, including wild salmon and sea trout, that depend upon healthy coastal ecosystems.

We applaud the REC Committee’s report, which cuts through many years of Scottish Government and industry spin and prevarication. The onus is now on Scottish Government to act without delay to implement the Report’s recommendations, giving wild fish much needed protection from sea lice and diseases emanating from salmon farms”.

This year’s Parliamentary inquiry into salmon farming, as conducted by the ECCLR and REC Committees, was triggered by S&TCS’ formal Petition to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee in 2016.

///////////////////

Inquiry finds ‘insufficient evidence’ for salmon farming moratorium (BBC News; 27.11.2018)

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-46348359

A wide-ranging inquiry into Scottish salmon farming has found “insufficient evidence” to support calls for a moratorium on the industry’s expansion.

Concerns had been raised about the impact of the sector on wild salmon populations and the wider environment.

Holyrood’s rural economy committee said “light touch” regulation had failed.

Its report said the status quo was “not acceptable” and made 65 recommendations for improvement – but stopped short of backing an overall moratorium.

The industry said it was already taking action to address some of the concerns which have been raised.

‘Immediate dialogue’

In their report, MSPs said there should be a “precautionary” approach, with no expansion at sites where fish mortalities – caused by diseases – are classified as significant or high.

It said there should be “immediate dialogue”, led by Marine Scotland, to relocate “poorly sited” farms.

Other recommendations include the mandatory and immediate reporting of fish mortalities, disease outbreaks and the use of chemical medicines to treat sea lice infestations.

It also wants new farms to be positioned away from established migratory routes for wild salmon, and says exploring offshore sites in deeper waters should be treated as a high priority for the industry.

The committee’s convener, Edward Mountain MSP, said: “The salmon farming industry offers significant economic and social value to Scotland, providing jobs and investment in rural areas.

“There is a desire within the industry to grow. However, if this is to happen, it is essential that the serious challenges it faces – such as the control of sea lice, lowering fish mortality rates and reducing the sector’s impact on the environment – are addressed as a priority.”

He said the report had made 65 recommendations on how this should be taken forward.

“If the reputation of Scottish salmon as a premium product is to be maintained, Scotland’s salmon farmers must demonstrate responsible and sustainable production methods,” he added.

“Importantly, the committee is strongly of the view that the status quo in terms of regulation and enforcement is not acceptable, and that we need to raise the bar in Scotland by setting enhanced and more effective standards.”

Salmon producers

The inquiry was launched in June 2017 after Scottish government ministers said they wanted to see “sustainable growth” in the industry.

It heard evidence from salmon producers, environmental groups, scientists and academics.

A separate report for the inquiry, from the Scottish Parliament’s environment committee, warned of “irrecoverable damage” from future salmon farming if environmental concerns were not addressed.

It said there had been little activity in tackling environmental problems since 2002.

Reacting to the report, rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “While we will carefully consider the committee’s recommendations, a number of sustainability issues identified in its report are already being addressed through the Fish Health Framework working groups and the new wild and farmed salmon interactions working group.

“Aquaculture must be delivered and developed sustainably, with appropriate regulatory frameworks that minimise and address environmental impacts.

“But we are also clear that the sector is hugely important to Scotland’s economy, particularly in remote and rural communities and it is disappointing that the committee has not fully explored nor analysed that economic and social contribution and benefit more fully.”

Lice levels

Julie Hesketh Laird, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: “We produce the world’s most sought-after farmed salmon and are fully aware that, with that, comes the responsibility to ensure world-class fish welfare and environmental standards.

“To that end, the sector is already voluntarily reporting lice levels and is world-leading in publishing survival data on a farm-by-farm basis and we are leading participants in the Scottish government’s 10-year Farmed Fish Health Framework, which will promote collaboration between industry, regulators and scientists to underpin long-term improvements in fish health and welfare.

“We intend to continue that work and investment and we welcome involvement in regulatory discussions to help us do that to help ensure future regulation inspires confidence in all those with an interest in salmon farming.”

Earlier this month, the environmental regulator Sepa proposed a new set of regulations which limited the use of chemical treatments for sea lice.

It followed a rise in the number of sites failing to meet environmental standards.

One of the biggest concerns is about the impact of parasitic sea lice on wild populations of salmon.

‘Little public trust’

Dr Richard Luxmoore, senior nature conservation advisor with the National Trust for Scotland, said: “To some extent, the committee has called for a moratorium because if you look at the second recommendation in the document it is that there should be no expansion in the industry until some of the serious problems have been sorted out.

“The rest of the report goes on to highlight what those problems are so essentially we’re in full agreement with the committee.

“Until these problems are sorted out there should be no expansion in the industry.”

The conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to support a moratorium was dissented by two committee members, Scottish Labour’s Colin Smyth and the Greens’ John Finnie.

Mr Finnie told BBC Scotland: “In my view there’s plentiful evidence that a moratorium is justified, to give the industry and regulators time to control environmental pollution, high fish death rates and the impact of farm fish disease on wild fish.

“Approving a ‘precautionary approach’ sounds good but in reality gives control to businesses and a government agency with little public trust.”

////////////

MSPs call for urgent action to improve regulation of Scottish salmon farming

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/business/north-of-scotland/1618633/package-head-60pt-425-words-to-go-into-here/

November 27, 2018, 5:50 am

MSPs have called for urgent action to improve the regulation of Scottish salmon farming and to tackle fish health and environmental challenges.

It follows an in-depth inquiry into the industry by the Scottish Parliament’s rural economy and connectivity committee (RECC).

Highlands and islands Tory MSP Sir Edward Mountain, the committee’s convener, said: “The salmon farming industry offers significant economic and social value to Scotland, providing jobs and investment in rural areas.

“There is a desire within the industry to grow, however, if this is to happen, it is essential that the serious challenges it faces such as the control of sea-lice, lowering fish mortality rates and reducing the sector’s impact on the environment are addressed as a priority.

Sir Edward added: “If the reputation of Scottish salmon as a premium product is to be maintained, Scotland’s salmon farmers must demonstrate responsible and sustainable production methods.

“The committee is strongly of the view that the status quo in terms of regulation and enforcement is not acceptable, and that we need to raise the bar in Scotland by setting enhanced and more effective standards.”

The MSPs 65 recommendations include taking a “precautionary” approach to any potential impact of sea-lice infestation from salmon farms on wild salmon.

There should be an “immediate and proactive” shift towards locating new farms in more suitable areas away from wild salmon migratory routes, the report says.

It also calls for “a more strategic approach” to identify areas that are either suitable or unsuitable for the siting of farms, and immediate dialogue with the industry about moving poorly sited farms.

Salmon farms have been plagued by sea-lice and other husbandry issues in recent years, while escapes have heightened concerns about their impact on the environment.

Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland director Andrew Graham-Stewart welcomed the MSPs’ report, saying it “cuts through many years of Scottish Government and industry spin and prevarication”.

He added: “The onus is now on the Scottish Government to act without delay to implement the report’s recommendations, giving wild fish much needed protection from sea-lice and diseases emanating from salmon farms.”

Don Staniford, one of the industry’s fiercest critics, said: “Whilst this scathing report is a shot across the bows of the industry, it is disappointing that the RECC stopped short of recommending a moratorium.

“The closing down of Scotland’s worst salmon farms must happen as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Staniford, who has campaigned against salmon farming for years, added: “Scottish salmon farming is an environmental and welfare nightmare.”

//////////

Insufficient evidence for salmon farm moratorium, MSPs insist

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Press release 28.11.2018; unedited http://www.frodinflies.com/layout/topic.php?id=2083

Swedish reporter and writer Mikael Frödin was sentenced by the Alta district court for documenting conditions at Grieg Seafoods fish farming facility in the Alta fjord, Norway. Mikael Frödin will appeal the verdict.
– My journalistic action was done in the general public’s interest; we are revealing environmental crime, detestable animal management, and collapsing ecosystems. Far more serious violations than the documentation led to. I do not think, I should be the one to be sentenced, says Frödin.

Mikael Frödin came to the Alta River in Northern Norway on July 21st, 2017 participating in a large film production supported by the outdoor company Patagonia. He swam towards a fish farming facility’s cages and filmed deformed and severely disease-ridden salmon; images that have now spread in news media globally.
– If Norway does not undertake a huge effort against the glaring environmental problems created by the fish farming industry, the entire wild salmon resource will soon be lost, and Norway will be left with collapsed fjord systems and large scale genetic pollution for future generations, says Frödin.

Norway produces 1.3 million tons of salmon per year. Production requires 5 million tons of wild fish and soy that could have been used as food. Production requires huge water areas, thousands of tons of chemicals, and spreads diseases and parasites with devastating consequences for ecosystems. This food product carries strong traces of chemicals. EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, reported in November 2018: ’An individual with a body weight of 154 pounds (70 kilo) consuming 185 grams of salmon will reach the maximum amount of environmental poison tolerable per week without increased health risks. A child can only tolerate 90 grams.”

Appeals the sentence
Mikael Frödin was convicted of encroachment and fined 12,000 Norwegian kroner (NOK) or 24 days of incarceration, as well as being imposed court costs of NOK 3,000.
– I do not think that I should be the one to be sentenced, because it was my duty as a reporter to shed light on the gravity of the situation for the general public. If the law says that you cannot look for yourself, we are dependent on the companies providing correct information. Now that we know how it looks, we know their information does not tally, says Frödin.

Frödin claims that the journalistic act was a rescue action, which should be covered by the provisions within the law on necessity. Lawyer Svein Holden says:
– In our opinion this case raises several fundamental questions, which have not been tried previously by Norwegian courts of law. Frödin’s purpose with this act was to create an environmental policy debate and contribute to a change of framework conditions for the fish farming industry. That is why we think it is important to have the assessment of the Hålogaland court of appeal on whether his act meets the conditions inscribed in the provisions on necessity.

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Holyrood Committee releases their findings on the impact of salmon farming

http://www.parliament.scot/newsandmediacentre/110329.aspx

27.11.2018

Urgent action needs to be taken to improve the regulation of the Scottish salmon farming industry and to address fish health and environmental challenges, a Holyrood Committee has concluded.

Following its in-depth inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has determined that, if the industry is to expand, there is a need to introduce enhanced and more effective regulatory standards to ensure that fish health issues are properly managed and the impact on the environment is kept to an absolute minimum.

The Convener of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, Edward Mountain MSP, said:

“The salmon farming industry offers significant economic and social value to Scotland, providing jobs and investment in rural areas. There is a desire within the industry to grow. However, if this is to happen, it is essential that the serious challenges it faces such as the control of sea lice, lowering fish mortality rates and reducing the sector’s impact on the environment are addressed as a priority. Our report contains 65 recommendations on how this should be taken forward.

“If the reputation of Scottish salmon as a premium product is to be maintained, Scotland’s salmon farmers must demonstrate responsible and sustainable production methods. Importantly, the Committee is strongly of the view that the status quo in terms of regulation and enforcement is not acceptable, and that we need to raise the bar in Scotland by setting enhanced and more effective standards.”

In addressing specific fish health challenges, the Committee noted that while there has been a variety of actions by the sector to address sea lice infestations, there is still not an effective way to deal with the parasite. It is strongly of the view that there should be a mandatory approach the reporting of sea lice infestations. The Committee considers that the sea lice compliance policy must be robust and enforceable with appropriate penalties.

The Committee also deems the current level of fish mortalities to be too high in general across the sector and is concerned about extremely high mortality rates at particular sites. It is of the view that no expansion should be permitted at sites which report high or significantly increased levels of mortalities, until these are addressed to the satisfaction of regulators.

In terms of environmental impact, the Committee noted recent SEPA research which concluded that medicine from Scottish salmon farms “is significantly impacting local marine environments”. The Committee is therefore in no doubt that effective regulation of medicine used by the farmed salmon industry is a key requirement. The Committee also considers it to be essential that waste collection and removal from salmon farms is addressed as a matter of urgency.

The Committee makes several recommendations on the siting of salmon farms:

  • A precautionary approach must be taken to address any potential impact of sea lice infestation from salmon farms on wild salmon. There should be an immediate and proactive shift towards locating new farms in more suitable areas away from wild salmon migratory routes.
  • Until such time as an enhanced regulation and enforcement is in place, the precautionary approach to applications for new sites and expansion of existing sites should be firmly and effectively applied. The Scottish Government should provide strong and clear leadership to ensure this occurs.
  • A more strategic approach should be taken to identify those areas across Scotland that are either suitable or unsuitable for siting of salmon farms.
  • There should be immediate dialogue with the industry to identify scope for moving existing poorly sited farms.
  • Examining the scope for siting salmon farms in suitable offshore locations should be treated as a high priority.

The Rural economy and Connectivity Committee launched the enquiry into Salmon Farming in Scotland earlier this year, and took evidence from aquaculture research bodies, environmental organisations, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, salmon farming representatives, and regulatory bodies including Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council, SEPA and the Crown Estate.

Further information on the Committee’s inquiry can be found on its webpage.

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee published their report in March 2018 inform the REC Committee’s wider inquiry into the current state of the industry.

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.

//////////

Media Coverage (Nov. 27.2018 @ 8.30 CET

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-46348359

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/…scotland/…/package-head-60pt-425-words-to-go…

https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/…/scotland/insufficient-evidence-for-salmon-farm-.

https://www.fishfarmingexpert.com/…/scottish-salmon-farmers-must-raise-the-bar-say-…

https://www.heraldscotland.com/…/17257161.salmon-farmers-must-address-serious-c…

www.parliament.scot/newsandmediacentre/110329.aspx

https://www.undercurrentnews.com/…/scottish-govt-committee-proposes-urgent-measure.

///////////

S&TCS warmly welcomes the Rural Economy Committee’s report on salmon farming

NB: See the Draft posted here (as ‘The report’): https://www.salmon-trout.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/EMBARGOED-00.01-27.11.18-Salmon-farming-in-Scotland-report.pdf

Scottish Government must now act quickly to put in place greater protection for wild salmon and sea trout.

https://www.salmon-trout.org/2018/11/27/recc-report/

Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) has warmly welcomed the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee’s report on salmon farming, published today.

The report builds on the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee’s report published in March.

Guy Linley-Adams, Solicitor for S&TCS, commented:

“This Report is a strong vindication of the campaign S&TCS has spearheaded for some years now, and the arguments we have been putting forward, often in the face of sharp criticism from both the industry and Scottish Government alike. We are pleased to see that the REC Committee has recognised that the law is currently insufficient to protect wild salmon and sea trout from the damaging impacts of salmon farming.

We now look to Scottish Government to grasp the nettle and move quickly to legislate to improve markedly the protection of wild salmon and sea trout from the negative impacts of salmon farming.”

Key conclusions and recommendations in the REC Committee’s report include:

  • “….if the industry is to grow, the Committee considers it to be essential that it addresses and identifies solutions to the environmental and fish health challenges it faces as a priority” (Recommendation 1)
  • “….urgent and meaningful action needs to be taken to address regulatory deficiencies as well as fish health and environmental issues before the industry can expand” (Recommendation 2)
  • Sea lice triggers to be “…challenging” and Government urged to “set a threshold that is comparable with the highest international industry standards” (Recommendation 15)
  • “…a move away from a voluntary approach to compliance and reporting with regard to sea lice infestation” (Recommendation 16)
  • In relation to breaches of sea lice levels, “enforcement action… has not been sufficiently robust to date. It is therefore of the view that if the revised compliance policy is to be effective it must be robust, enforceable and include appropriate penalties” (Recommendation 17)
  • Sea lice data in real time to be published in real-time, made mandatory and “the data provided should be that which is required to inform the regulatory and enforcement regimes, as opposed to that which the industry itself takes it upon itself to produce” (Recommendations 19 to 21).
  • “the Committee is….of the view that a precautionary approach should be taken which will seek to minimise the potential risk to wild salmon stocks wherever possible” (Recommendation 40)
  • “the Committee suggests that the siting of salmon farms is key to managing any potential risk to wild salmon stocks and ensuring that the sector is managed responsibly” (Recommendation 41)
  • on the issue that none of the existing regulatory bodies currently has responsibility for the impact of salmon farms on wild salmon stocks, “the Committee believes that clarity must be provided by the Scottish Government as to how this apparent regulatory gap will be filled and which agency will assume responsibility for its management”. (Recommendation 44)
  • “The Committee shares the view of the ECCLR Committee that the siting of farms in the vicinity of known migratory routes for wild salmon must be avoided” (Recommendation 45)
  • “The Committee is of the view that a…precautionary approach must be taken in Scotland to assist in mitigating any potential impact of sea lice infestation on wild salmon. It therefore recommends that there should be an immediate and proactive shift towards siting new farms in more suitable areas away from migratory routes and that this should be highlighted in the strategic guidance on the siting of salmon farms”. (Recommendation 46)

Andrew Graham-Stewart, Director of S&TCS, said:

“Scottish Government has a clear duty to safeguard the coastal environment and those species, including wild salmon and sea trout, that depend upon healthy coastal ecosystems.

We applaud the REC Committee’s report, which cuts through many years of Scottish Government and industry spin and prevarication. The onus is now on Scottish Government to act without delay to implement the Report’s recommendations, giving wild fish much needed protection from sea lice and diseases emanating from salmon farms”.

This year’s Parliamentary inquiry into salmon farming, as conducted by the ECCLR and REC Committees, was triggered by S&TCS’ formal Petition to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee in 2016.

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http://media.sepa.org.uk/media-releases/2018/aquaculture-sector-plan/

SEPA – PR – 07.11.2018

Scottish salmon farm medicine significantly impacting local marine environments as SEPA unveils firm, evidence-based proposals for a revised regulatory regime

Scottish salmon farm medicine is significantly impacting local marine environments. That is the conclusion of one of Scotland’s largest and most comprehensive marine research projects into aquaculture, undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

  • Scottish salmon farm medicine significantly impacting local marine environments concludes SEPA research report, which increases the now substantial weight of scientific evidence that the existing approaches do not adequately protect marine life.
  • SEPA announces firm, evidence-based proposals for a revised regime that will strengthen the regulation of the sector.
  • New, tighter standard for the organic waste deposited by fish farms.
  • More powerful modelling using the best available science, replacing 15 year old framework.
  • Enhanced environmental monitoring and creation of new SEPA enforcement unit to ensure compliance is non-negotiable.
  • New interim approach for controlling the use of Emamectin Benzoate, pending UK Technical Group recommendations to Scottish Government.
  • New approach could allow for larger farms than traditionally approved, provided they are appropriately sited in sustainable locations.
  • Scotland-wide consultation events across November and December.

Scottish salmon farm medicine is significantly impacting local marine environments.  That is the conclusion of one of Scotland’s largest and most comprehensive marine research projects into aquaculture, undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

The survey, ‘Fish Farm Survey Report – Evaluation of a New Seabed Monitoring Approach to Investigate the Impacts of Marine Cage Fish Farms’, undertaken by specialist marine scientists using research vessel the Sir John Murray, examined environmental impacts from eight Scottish fish farms.  302 chemical samples were analysed from 93 sample stations and 296 ecological samples from 142 sample stations.

Samples for chemical analysis were analysed for the sea lice medicine Emamectin Benzoate (EmBz) and Teflubenzuron (Tef), last used in 2013.  The medicines were detected in 98% and 46% of samples respectively, with residues more widely spread in the environment around fish farms than had previously been found.  Moreover, the research concluded that the impacts of individual farms may not be contained to the vicinity of individual farms.

The research survey was published today (Wednesday, 7th November) as part of proposals by SEPA, one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture*, for a revised regime that will strengthen SEPA’s regulation of the sector.  The proposals follow 16 months of work by the agency, including a 2017 consultation, and two Scottish Parliamentary committees, one of which concluded that “the status quo is not an option”, adding that the industry’s expansion goal “will be unsustainable and may cause irrecoverable damage to the environment” unless governance and practices are improved markedly.

Scotland is the largest Atlantic salmon aquaculture producer in the European Union and third in the world after Norway and Chile.  A contributing factor to this is Scotland’s reputation for a high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources.

SEPA’s draft Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan is ambitious in its aspirations for an industry where in the future:

  • The Scottish finfish aquaculture sector recognises that protecting the environment is fundamental to its success and is foremost in all its plans and operations.
  • The sector is a world-leading innovator of ways to minimise the environmental footprint of food production and supply.
  • The sector has a strong and positive relationship with neighbouring users of the environment and the communities in which it operates.  It is valued nationally for its contribution to achieving global food security.

It is also clear that all operators in the sector will reach and maintain full compliance with Scotland’s environmental protection laws, with SEPA working to help as many operators as possible to move beyond compliance.

Whilst SEPA’s latest Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) data saw overall compliance levels for the sector drop during 2017 to 81.14%, against a relative peak of 85.75% in 2016, the industry is innovating through the use of ‘non medicinal farming’ using wrasse, a small fish that tackles sea lice, full or partial containment and enhanced fallowing.

Specifically, SEPA’s firm, evidence based proposals for a revised regime that will strengthen the regulation of the sector include:

  • A NEW TIGHTER STANDARD FOR THE ORGANIC WASTE DEPOSITED BY FISH FARMS

Marine cage fish farming across Scotland operates using open-net cages.  Fish faeces; any uneaten food; used fish medicines and other chemical treatments escape from these cages into the marine environment.  The heavier, organic particles (the fish faeces and uneaten food) together with any medicines sticking to them are deposited on the sea floor.  Natural biological process then break down and assimilate the material over time.

The tighter standard limits the spatial extent of the mixing zone around farms.   The controls we will apply to these mixing zones will bring them into equivalence with modern practice on mixing zones for other waste effluent discharges into the sea, including those from urban waste water.

  • MORE POWERFUL MODELLING USING THE BEST AVAILABLE SCIENCE

The new regulatory framework will use new, more accurate computer modelling approaches that will improve our understanding of the risk to the local environment and allow assessment of the larger-scale impacts including interactions with other farms.

The science about fish farming is very complex and these new approaches will bring the aquaculture sector up to date with the modelling practices which are being used for other industrial sectors where there is a longer history of operation and analysis.

  • ENHANCED ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING & NEW ENFORCEMENT UNIT

Operators will be required to invest in more accurate monitoring, including of waste coming from fish farms.  The creation of a new enforcement unit will strengthen the checking and verifying of monitoring that fish farm operators are required to undertake.  SEPA will also increase and strengthen monitoring of the impact of fish farms in surrounding areas.

  • NEW INTERIM APPROACH FOR CONTROLLING THE USE OF EMAMECTIN BENZOATE

SEPA has asked the UK Technical Advisory Group (UK TAG), a partnership of the UK environment and conservation agencies, to make recommendations on new environmental standards for Emamectin Benzoate to the Scottish Government.  UK TAG was established by the governments of the different parts of the UK to oversee the scientific process of developing the environmental standards used across the UK for protecting the water environment.

UK TAG is in the process of developing its recommendations.  This includes obtaining and considering independent scientific peer reviews of the evidence.  After UK TAG makes its recommendations to the Scottish Government, Scottish Government will consult on draft directions on the establishment of new environmental standards.

While this UK TAG work continues, SEPA will adopt a precautionary principle position which imposes a much tighter interim standard for the use of Emamectin Benzoate at any new site.  This is based on the now substantial weight of scientific evidence that the existing standards do not adequately protect marine life.  This interim standard will set a limit so low that it will, effectively, mean Emamectin Benzoate can only be discharged in very limited quantities at any new site.

  • NEW APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE SITING OF FARMS

The combination of the new standard, the more accurate model and enhanced monitoring will allow the siting of farms in the most appropriate areas where the environment can assimilate wastes.  It will also allow SEPA to better match biomass to the capacity available in the environment and continue to assess that through the operation of the site. This may allow for the approval of larger farms than would have been traditionally approved previously, provided they are appropriately sited in sustainable locations.

Overall, the proposals will combine to encourage operators to site and operate their fish farms in environmentally less sensitive waters and use improved practices and technologies to reduce environmental impact.

In practice, we anticipate this will lead to fewer fish farms in shallower, slow-flowing waters and more fish farms in deeper and faster-flowing waters.  We also anticipate it will encourage the adoption of new technologies such as partial and full containment to capture organic waste and any remaining medical residues. SEPA has seen some industry operators successfully developing new approaches such as non-chemical ways of managing fish health. Our new regime will support these encouraging developments.

As one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, SEPA believes its proposals have the potential to significantly improve in the environmental performance of the industry.

Recognising the diverse range of views of finfish aquaculture, SEPA is keen to hear directly from individuals, interest groups, NGOs, communities, companies and others with a view on the regulatory proposals.

As part of a seven-week public consultation, SEPA will embark on one of its most significant public engagement programmes to date.  SEPA will host a series of nine events across Scotland during November and December where people can find out more, talk directly with specialist teams and provide direct feedback as we strengthen our regulatory approach.

Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said:

Whilst a high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources are vital to Scotland’s aquaculture sector, it’s an industry that attracts polarised positions, from those who cite its economic contribution to those who stridently oppose its existence.

“As one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, SEPA is clear that our job is to make sure environmental standards protect the marine environment for the people of Scotland and we make sure the industry meets those.  That’s unequivocally our focus.

“Consequently across the last sixteen months we’ve done more science, more analysis and more listening than ever before.   Whilst we’re seeing innovation in the sector, we’ve concluded that Scottish salmon farm medicine is significantly impacting local marine environments which increases the now substantial weight of scientific evidence that the existing approaches do not adequately protect marine life.

“We agree that ‘the status quo is not an option’ which is why we’re announcing firm, evidence based proposals for a revised regime that will strengthen the regulation of the sector.  As part of a Scotland-wide consultation, we’re now keen to hear directly from individuals, interest groups, NGOs, communities, companies and others on their views on the proposals as we move to strengthen our regulatory approach.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Sector Plans

SEPA is changing today, creating a world-class environment protection agency fit for the challenges of tomorrow. By moving away from the traditional site by site regulation to grounding our regulation and activities across whole sectors, we will shape our interactions with every sector and the businesses in them.

Sector plans will be at the heart of everything we do and will help regulated businesses operate successfully within the means of one planet. In every sector we regulate, we will have two simple aims.

We will ensure that:

  • every regulated business fully meets their compliance obligations
  • as many regulated businesses as possible will go beyond the compliance standards.

SEPA has launched a new, dedicated space on its website for sector plans https://sectors.sepa.org.uk


Consultation Events

Further information on SEPA’s Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan, including community consultation events, is available at https://sectors.sepa.org.uk.

* ‘Finfish’ are fish with fins as opposed to shellfish. Salmon, rainbow trout and brown trout are the main species farmed in Scotland.  ‘Aquaculture’ is the cultivation of freshwater or seawater organisms, including finfish or shellfish.

 

39-page Report: https://consultation.sepa.org.uk/sector-plan/finfishaquaculture/supporting_documents/Fish%20Farm%20Survey%20Report.pdf

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Among the news coverage

https://stv.tv/news/north/1432596-scotland-s-salmon-farms-to-face-tighter-regulations/ incl. Video

Watchdog calls for tougher controls on salmon farming

Polly Bartlett 7 November 2018

Current salmon farming practice is ‘significantly impacting marine life’ new study finds.

Salmon farms in Scotland could face tighter regulations.

The environmental watchdog Sepa found that the existing approach to salmon farming does not do enough to protect marine life, raising particular concerns about the chemical treatments for parasitic sea lice.

The tiny lice attach themselves to salmon and feed on them, killing or rendering them inedible.

Sepa tested waters for specific chemicals that were used to treat the sea lice until 2013, and found them to have a greater and longer-lasting impact on the environment than previously thought.

The proposed new restrictions will limit the future use of the chemicals and could mean some farms will have to relocate to deeper waters with stronger tides.

Terry A’Hearn, chief executive of Sepa, said: “Our job is to make sure environmental standards protect the marine environment for the people of Scotland and we make sure the industry meets those.

“That’s unequivocally our focus.

“Across the last 16 months we’ve done more science, more analysis and more listening than ever before.

“Whilst we’re seeing innovation in the sector, we’ve concluded that Scottish salmon farm medicine is significantly impacting local marine environments which increases the weight of scientific evidence that the existing approaches do not adequately protect marine life.

“This is why we’re announcing firm, evidence-based proposals for a revised regime that will strengthen the regulation of the sector.”

Sepa is launching a seven-week consultation on the proposals and will host a series of nine events across Scotland during November and December.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: “This is a rigorous report setting out the modern regulation the industry needs enabling it to grow sustainably over the long term.

“It is the culmination of years of collaborative work between the Scottish salmon farmers and Sepa to develop a new framework for the gradual and careful expansion of the Scottish salmon sector.

“We share Sepa’s vision of an innovative, sustainable salmon industry underpinned by clear and accurate regulation.

“This report will remove many of the barriers preventing the development of more modern facilities further from the shore and we look forward to Sepa’s support as the industry makes this change. ”

/////////////

SSPO PR: http://scottishsalmon.co.uk/sspo-comments-launch-sepas-finfish-aquaculture-sector-plan-revised-regulatory-regime/ SSPO comments on the launch of SEPA’s Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan and revised regulatory regime

Published on 7th November 2018

The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) has welcomed the launch of SEPA’s Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan and revised regulatory regime, describing it as “rigorous” but “enabling”.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, SSPO chief executive, said:

“This is a rigorous report setting out modern regulation and enabling the industry to grow sustainably over the long term. It is the culmination of years of collaborative work between the Scottish salmon farmers and SEPA to develop a new framework for the gradual and careful expansion of the Scottish salmon sector.

“We share SEPA’s vision of an innovative, sustainable salmon industry underpinned by clear and accurate regulation. This report will remove many of the barriers preventing the development of more modern facilities further from the shore and we look forward to SEPA’s support as the industry makes this change.

“The various recommendations in the SEPA plan indicate how important up-to-date science is for both the development of salmon farming and its monitoring and regulation. New technology, better science and modelling and a dedicated resource to work with salmon farmers will help to ensure a robust and well-regulated industry with a strong environmental performance record and recognised provenance.

“We welcome the launch of the new model which will be used to understand the potential environmental footprint of our farms. The model will move away from current limitations and help regulate farm activity in a more modern and accurate way. The new regulatory framework supports the development of larger farms and may mean that some farms are best moved to more appropriate locations.

“SSPO has been helping to lead the research work to develop and support the new model and we have embarked on the next phase of the model’s development (project called EXPAND). Ensuring that models are maintained and developed continuously is vital for long-term benefit and, as is the case in other sectors, the industry will undertake the financing of that work.

“The research into the impacts of marine cage farming is an important study and we welcome SEPA’s decision to refer their findings to the UK Technical Advisory Group to make recommendations on new environmental standards for one of the medicines used in salmon farming (emamectin benzoate).

“The discovery of residues is important information but it should be remembered that salmon farmers were operating to SEPA guidelines throughout the past five years.

“The management of sea lice on farms has moved on considerably from reliance on veterinary medicines. The use of cleanerfish – like wrasse and lumpfish – which swim with the salmon to keep them clear of lice is highly effective. Other techniques using warm or fresh water are also working well. In fact, the levels of sea lice on farms is as low now as it has been for the past five years.

“However, salmon farmers need the reassurance that veterinary medicines are available should the need arise and we will be keen to study the recommendations from the UK Technical Advisory Group.

“The industry shares SEPA’s ambition to make Scottish salmon farming a world-leader in innovation and environmental protection. With the new, more accurate and responsive modelling the industry’s compliance rates will improve.”

“We look forward to contributing the consultation.”

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SEPA Public Consultation: November 7 – December 24, 2018

Overview

Scotland’s finfish aquaculture sector relies on Scotland’s high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources. We have unveiled firm, evidence-based proposals for a revised regulatory regime and at its heart, a new sector plan that outlines how we propose to do this.

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SEPA CEO, Terry A’Hearn, introduces proposals for a revised regulatory regime.

The draft plan outlines enhanced standards for organic waste and a strengthened approach for licensing medicines. The plan also details strengthened monitoring and assessment processes and a more comprehensive approach to ensuring fish farm operators comply with all these requirements.

 Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan

We have also published the following documents which provide additional context to support our regulation of the Finfish Aquaculture sector:

Our press release explains more about the proposals for a revised regulatory regime.

Why We Are Consulting

In preparing this draft sector plan, we have undertaken more scientific analysis, done more thorough thinking and held more discussions with stakeholders than ever before. We are determined to set the best and most up-to-date framework for regulating this sector.

Recognising the diverse range of views on finfish aquaculture, we are keen to hear directly from individuals, interest groups, NGOs, communities, companies and others with a view on the regulatory proposals.

Across November and December we will gather feedback to shape the future of how we regulate the finfish aquaculture sector. We want our communities to inform and enrich the decisions we take every day to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment.

Community drop in events will give you the chance to speak with a range of SEPA staff, find out more about the proposals and answer your questions. No booking required.

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