An independent review of how fish farms are regulated is under way in a move to make Scottish aquaculture rules among the most effective and transparent in the world.
Professor Russel Griggs, chairman of South of Scotland Enterprise, has been appointed to lead the first phase of the review.
Announcing the appointment, the Scottish Government’s said it was the latest of its “100 Days Commitments” to be met, on day 81 since the first minister was voted in.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Aquaculture is a significant contributor to our rural economy, providing well-paid jobs in some of Scotland’s most fragile communities – and will be an essential part of our green recovery and transition to net-zero.
“The industry also provides a source of homegrown, nutritious low carbon protein that is enjoyed at home and abroad.
“However, reports and parliamentary activity over the last few years have made clear that the regulatory landscape is contentious and there is a need for improved efficiency, effectiveness and transparency.”
‘The industry faces significant challenges and also has its critics’
Prof Griggs said: “I very much welcome the opportunity to lead this important review.
“Aquaculture plays a major role in maintaining sustainable rural communities and the economy as a whole, and this review is both timely and necessary.
“The industry faces significant challenges and also has its critics, but I will approach this review with an open mind and engage with stakeholders from across the aquaculture spectrum.
“Only by doing this will we be able to deliver improvements in the regulatory landscape in the short-term and identify options for further reform in the longer term.”
Prof Griggs started his career in marketing, in the pharmaceutical industry, and then moved to the consumer flooring industry before becoming chief executive of an industrial textile company in the 1980s.
In 1990 he joined Scottish Enterprise in a business development role and went on to become an executive director of the economic development quango.
He ran its investment banking and business development arms, as well as spending some years in the US looking at investment opportunities for Scottish companies.