Dead salmon being examined by laboratory worker

New innovation roadmap outlines pathway for Scottish aquaculture growth

Wednesday, 22nd February 2017

A new report on the innovation needs of the Scottish aquaculture sector was launched today at the first meeting of the Industry Leadership Group (ILG) in Inverness, attended by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.

The report – ‘Scottish aquaculture: a view towards 2030’ – follows a six-month scoping study into the innovation needs of the sector, commissioned by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and conducted by independent consultants Imani Development in partnership with SRSL.

The study used a combination of desk research, data from two key industry events, and targeted interviews with industry leaders and regulators to inform an innovation roadmap that sets out the needs of the sector according to urgency and impact, and recommends a pathway of actions through to 2030.

Addressing these actions will, in turn, help achieve the recommendations of the industry-led ‘Aquaculture Growth to 2030’ strategic plan that was published in 2016.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Stewart Graham, Managing Director of Gael Force Group and co-Chair of the ILG said: “I welcome this work which is complementary and supportive of the industry strategy set out in ‘Aquaculture Growth to 2030’. With a focus on innovation, it captures the current state of the industry, supports the strategic priorities to 2030 and outlines how to achieve them through innovative R&D. The resulting roadmap gives a clear and unified picture of what’s needed and by when.”

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC added: “Several of the issues highlighted by the report as being urgent and high-impact, such as disease, feed, licencing and regulation, and spat availability closely mirror SAIC’s own priority innovation areas which were identified by the industry during our initial engagement with the sector. We look forward to collaborating with existing and new partners alike on additional innovative R&D in these areas, and playing a core role in helping the industry achieve its growth ambitions.”

The ILG, which will meet quarterly from February 2017, is co-chaired by Jim Gallagher, Managing Director of Scottish Sea Farms, and Stewart Graham, Managing Director of Gael Force Group.

The full ILG membership comprises:

From industry
Charlie Bullock, MD, Aquascot
Alban Denton, MD, Loch Duart
Jim Gallagher, MD, Scottish Sea Farms
Stewart Graham, MD, Gael Force Group
Stewart Hawthorn, Salmon Director, Dawnfresh
Heather Jones, CEO, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre
Scott Landsburgh, CEO, Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation
David Morrice, Country Director, Cargill
Michael Tait, Chairman, Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers
James Withers, CEO, Scotland Food & Drink

From the Scottish public sector
Terry A’Hearn, CEO, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Scottish Government
Ian Jardine, CEO, Scottish Natural Heritage
John McNairney, Chief Planner, Scottish Government
Mike Palmer, Acting Director, Marine Scotland

You can download a copy of ‘Scottish aquaculture: a view towards 2030’ on our website. Alternatively, for a printed copy, email

For more information, interviews or images please email or call 07958 363538.

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