UK Aquaculture Planning on the move in
by Roy Palmer, Aquaculture Without Frontiers, Australia
That aquaculture has a philosophical base in the East and a scientific base in the West has farreaching implications. In the East, it is culture, it is life: culture to improve life by providing food and employment. It is embedded in the social and economic infrastructure. All that science can and must do is to make this culture more effective. In the West, aquaculture is science and technology, embodied in industry and providing profits: money. It has no social infrastructure. In this, the West has much to learn from the East
Elizabeth Mann Borgese (1918-2002), Seafarm, The Story of Aquaculture, 1980
Nothing explains the differences between Asian countries and Western countries and the way they interact with aquaculture better than this quote. Looking at Aquaculture in UK these points come through very strongly because whilst there can be no doubting that governance is important you get to appreciate how complex it can make business. It is like the wagon has put itself ahead of the horse and, of course, the more complicated you make things the harder it is for people to achieve. Aquaculture policy in the UK is a devolved matter, with the separate administrations of Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland responsible for its collective oversight. This governance arrangement means that the elements of the UK approach reflected in the Multiannual National Plan will vary to reflect differences in priorities and policy approaches. The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) created the ‘United Kingdom Multiannual National Plan for the Development of Sustainable Aquaculture’ last year. This plan identifies that Aquaculture is one of the UK’s key strategic food production sectors acknowledging that it helps to underpin sustainable economic growth, both in rural and coastal communities and in the wider economy. It highlights that the UK is committed to continue supporting industryled sustainable growth of aquaculture. Additionally to this Plan Seafish Authority have commenced an aquaculture review to investigate the services provided by Seafish in relation to the UK aquaculture market to show how the role of Seafish has changed and 14 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | May-June 2015
developed over the years, to make recommendations on where Seafish should/could be focusing on aquaculture (both domestic and imported); make recommendations on how Seafish could most appropriately invest in aquaculture technical and information needs and assess potential gains from such investments. The outcomes are to be fed into the discussions on the new Seafish Corporate Plan, which will run from April 2015 to March 2018, and will detail how the Seafish levy should be spent. The Seafish panels agreed that aquaculture should be included in the new Corporate Plan and the review has highlighted that most of the levy for this sector comes from imported warm water prawns. It was also identified that Seafish should focus on the development of the domestic sector through supporting national strategies. Seafish has now just appointed an aquaculture manager, Lee Cocker, to help support the growth of the industry in the UK. Aquaculture within England, Northern Ireland and Wales differs significantly from Scotland both in terms of scale of production and species cultivated. Scotland is undoubtedly the major player in the production of farmed Atlantic salmon (over 95 percent) which dominates the UK finfish production figures. Although primarily marine based, Scotland’s industry also incorporates a significant freshwater production sector. Collectively the English, Northern Irish and Welsh industries place greater emphasis on shellfish and trout production.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the UK government department responsible for policy and regula-