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Also in the news / New Brexit deal, salmon mortality, Ukraine fundraising concert, poverty report

Former MSP for Shetland Tavish Scott is now the chief executive of Salmon Scotland.

THE Scottish salmon industry has welcomed the deal between London and Brussels over post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Known as the ‘Windsor framework’ the agreement reached on Monday afternoon has been hailed as a “decisive breakthrough”.

Salmon Scotland’s chief executive Tavish Scott said improved relationship between London and Brussels was “welcome news for all exporters”.

“Since Brexit, the export arrangements for our members have been challenging with extra red tape, delays at the Channel, and continued labour shortages,” Scott said.

“We have managed to get through that, but an improved relationship will hopefully lead to an easing of the tensions and generate further sustainable growth of Scotland’s most successful food sector.”

Scottish salmon is the UK’s largest food export, with sales of £578 million in 2022 with more than half of its value exported to France.


MEANWHILE, Highlands and Islands Green MSP Ariane Burgess has added her name to a letter sent to Scottish rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon calling for a pause on new salmon farms due to high mortality rates.

The letter organised by Animal Equality and OneKind highlights concerns about the recently published mortality figures on Scottish salmon farms, which at 15 million prematurely dead fish from January to November 2022, were nearly double that of the previous year.

Supported by eight Green and Labour MSPs, the letter urges the Scottish Government to impose a moratorium on the expansion of the industry until animal welfare and environmental concerns are addressed.

Burgess said: “The sky high mortality figures across the industry are just the latest sign that Scottish salmon farms are struggling to control their impact on animal welfare and the environment.

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“It is becoming clearer and clearer that large scale salmon farms are not good for the salmon, not good for wild fish and the marine environment, and are simply not sustainable in their current form.”


LOCAL band Odesa is playing a second fundraising concert for Ukraine in the Walls hall on Sunday starting at 2pm.

Around £700 has already be raised for the British Ukrainian Aid appeal following a first concert in Bigton on 24 February, the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

Band founder Annalie Hayward said most of the first half of the concert will consist of Ukrainian folk music including music from the Carpathian Mountains, the resistance song Hey hey, rise up, made famous in the west by Pink Floyd’s cover, as well as the Ukrainian’s football anthem Chervona Ruta.

 

Tickets are £10 (£5 for concession) at the door. A third concert is planned for Baltasound on 1 April.


SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart has welcomed the launch of a report which, it is hoped, will help tackle stigmas surrounding poverty.

“The evidence we heard highlighted feelings of shame that can surround poverty and that must be addressed. There are many causes of poverty and the stigma attached to it must be unshackled. It can damage mental health and wellbeing,” she said.

“In a modern Scotland, we should better understand the challenges of poverty and seek to ensure that all in our society have access to warm homes and food.

“I hope this report will have a lasting legacy and I want to thank everyone for their contributions to this report.”

The report can be found here.

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