The aims of the legislation as set out in the Policy Memorandum is to ‘ensure that farmed and wild fisheries – and their interactions with each other – continue to be managed effectively, maximising their combined contribution to supporting sustainable economic growth with due regard to the wider marine environment.’
The Bill has six parts and two schedules (the final part containing general provisions including interpretation, commencement and short title). The Committee focused its scrutiny on each of these distinct parts.
Part 1 of the Bill is concerned with fish farm management and seeks to improve related regulations, mainly by amending the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007.
Part 2 deals with salmon and freshwater fisheries and largely amends the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003, particularly in relation to governance by District Salmon Fisheries Boards (DSFBs) and management of salmon fisheries.
Part 3 deals with sea fisheries and brings Scotland into line with the rest of the UK in terms of marine enforcement powers.
Part 4 deals with shellfish and amends the 2003 Act to insert provisions relating to the protection of shellfish growing waters.
Part 5 deals with charging and fixed penalty notices. It provides for Ministers to introduce charges for functions relating to aquaculture, freshwater fisheries and sea fisheries. The Bill also widens the cases in which Marine Scotland can issue Fixed Penalty Notices.
Read the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill and accompanying documents.
The Committee issued a call for evidence on 25 October 2012.
Read the call for evidence
Read the responses received by the Committee
Supplementary written evidence
The Committee took oral evidence from the Scottish Government's Bill Team on 28 November; stakeholders on 5, 12 and 19 December and a final session, with the Minister, on 9 January 2013.
The Committee agreed to supplement its oral and written evidence taking with two fact-finding visits that would enable it to see, first hand, the issues and tensions between fish farms and freshwater fisheries that lie at the heart of the Bill. These visits are to supplement Stage 1 scrutiny of the Bill:
Aberdeenshire visit (9/10 November 2012)
Fort William area visit (16/17 November 2012)
The Committee published its Stage 1 Report on the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill on Monday 4 Debruary 2013. Please follow the links below to view the report webpage, PDF and news release:
Read the Scottish Government's response to the Stage 1 Report: