Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart, have spoken out today after it emerged that the co-leader of the Scottish Greens was advocating for the curtailment of salmon farming in Scotland despite never having been to a farm and not knowing where salmon farms were located. Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Lorna Slater MSP said “I don’t actually know where the fish farms are” but that she continued to support the party’s manifesto commitments to phase out open-pen farms.
Anne Anderson of Scottish Sea Farms said in a BBC interview that the Greens’ desire to shut open pen farms would have “a catastrophic effect on the Scottish salmon farming” and a “devastating conclusion and impact on people.”
Mr Carmichael said:
“The Scottish Greens apparently want to close down all of Scotland’s salmon farms despite not knowing where any of them are. On this basis will Ms Slater be going after the wicked people of Atlantis next?
“The Greens’ geographical knowledge may be imaginary but the cost of these proposals in isles jobs would be very real. The ghost of Thatcher would no doubt be looking on approvingly at this willingness to tear up entire industries without having any first-hand knowledge of them. Before the SNP let them run economic policy they should at least make sure they can read a map!”
Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart added:
“Salmon farming is a major part of Shetland’s economy. There are over 400 direct jobs here producing 21% of Scottish farmed salmon, and contributing to an estimated worth of £1.8bn annually in Scotland. The Green Party’s manifesto punches a big hole through Shetland aquaculture.
“Where there are issues to be tackled you do so by working with the sector, not talking about closing farms and scrapping jobs.
“I’m really proud of our world class salmon. Shetland’s aquaculture sector should know – you have a supporter in me.”