View from the Chamber 12.11.20

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Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), is pleased to announce an online event to celebrate and explore the huge growth potential of Scotland’s aquaculture sector.

A Meeting of Minds will be staged on Zoom on Thursday November 26, from 10.30am to noon.

The session will bring together leading businesses and organisations involved in Scottish aquaculture for insights into key areas of development for the sector.

Speakers from MOWI, Scottish Sea Farms, Scale AQ, the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, Lantra and Northern Light Consultants will share ideas and inspiration for the future, with topics including sustainability, business development and growth opportunities, innovations, career paths and skills training.

Frazer Coupland, CEO of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘We’re delighted to be hosting this event that brings people from across aquaculture together. It’s a hugely important sector for the west highlands with fantastic potential for the future.

Aquaculture in Scotland is diverse, from the farming of Atlantic salmon and other marine and freshwater finfish species, to the production of mussels, oysters and the harvesting of seaweed. It is an industry that sustains the economic and social fabric of the Highlands and Islands and is an anchor industry that keeps communities and career prospects alive in remote and rural areas.

The sector contributes £1.8bn annually to the Scottish economy and employs more than 8,800 people, many in rural communities. The potential contribution of farming Scotland’s seas is even greater – research shows that through sustainable growth, the sector has the potential to double its annual contribution to the economy from £1.8bn to £3.6bn or more by 2030.The number of jobs supported could reach 18,000.

Heather Jones, CEO at SAIC, said: ‘Aquaculture is an incredibly important part of the economic fabric of Scotland’s rural communities. The sector, directly and indirectly, supports thousands of highly skilled jobs across the country, with more likely to be created as it sustainably grows in the years to come. I look forward to discussing the many opportunities that lie ahead at A Meeting of Minds, as well as how businesses in

Lochaber and beyond can support and help unlock the sector’s ambitions.’
Tavish Scott, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, who will speak at the event, said: ‘I am pleased to join this event from Lochaber Chamber and SAIC in highlighting the importance of aquaculture and introducing Scottish Salmon’s new Sustainable Charter which reflects the importance of our sector being close to local people in the decisions we make that affect them.’

To book your free place on A Meeting of Minds on Thursday November 26, please go to www.lochaberchamber.co.uk/events or search for A Meeting of Minds on www.eventbrite.co.uk