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New study shows path for shellfish sector growth

The results of a pilot project aimed at supporting commercial-scale shellfish farming in Scotland have been published today.

The second phase of the Shellfish Critical Mass project, run by Crown Estate Scotland and the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers, sought to identify ways to support the development of the sector and has produced vital learnings which could help the Scottish shellfish industry evolve.

Key conclusions of the study, which focused on commercial-scale mussel farming in the wider Firth of Clyde and its sea-lochs, included the scale needed for sites to be commercially viable; the type of locations which could support sites; and some considerations in relation to consenting.

It is hoped that the report will help inform industry and Government so that they work together help realise the sector's potential, delivering benefits to coastal communities.

Alex Adrian, Aquaculture Operations Manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “This is an important piece of work which we hope will provide a blueprint for how the industry can grow and develop over the coming years. Shellfish can be a real success story in Scotland and bring wider benefits to island and coastal communities, so Crown Estate Scotland want to do what we can to enable this development.”

Nick Lake, Chief Executive of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers, said: "The importance of developing shellfish cultivation in Scotland is beginning to be recognised not only for food production and nutritional benefits, but also as a sustainable source of employment in rural communities. Scotland has real potential to develop it's shellfish cultivation expertise and the Critical Mass Study indicates where opportunities lie for further developments." 

The full report can be found here.