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Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013

Chapter 1 – Fish Farm Management
Section 1 - Fish farm management agreements and statements

3.Section 1 makes provision to amend the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007 (the “2007 Act”) with the insertion of provisions for fish farm management agreements and statements.

4.Section 1(2) inserts a new section (4A) into the 2007 Act, after section 4. This provision sets out the requirement for fish farm businesses to be party to farm management agreements or to maintain farm management statements. The amendment will enhance the investigative powers currently available to an inspector (within the meaning of section 12 of the 2007 Act) and provide inspectors with additional powers to take samples of fish and examine/take copies of any documents or records from any fish farm in Scotland. It will also enable the Scottish Ministers to modify the definition of the Code of Practice (within the meaning of inserted section 4A(5)) by order.

5.Section 1(3) replaces section 6(1) (enforcement notices) of the 2007 Act. This amendment will enable Scottish Ministers to serve enforcement notices on those who have failed or are failing to be party to fish farm management agreements or to maintain fish farm management statements and on those who have failed or are failing to ensure fish farms are managed and operated in accordance with such agreements or statements.

6.Section 1(4) amends section 43(3) of the 2007 Act so that an order under section 4A(6) of the 2007 Act is subject to the affirmative procedure in the Scottish Parliament.

Section 2 - Escapes, and obtaining samples, from fish farms

7.Section 2 makes provision to amend the 2007 Act to enhance the investigation powers currently available to inspectors and to provide inspectors with additional powers to take or require samples of fish from any fish farm in Scotland. The amendments will allow the Scottish Ministers to determine from which farms fish have escaped. The information obtained as a result of the exercise of the new investigation powers will assist to inform fish farmers on best containment practices, prevention of escapes, improving productivity, increasing sustainability and minimising the potential for adverse impact on wild salmonids.

8.Section 2(2)(a) inserts a new paragraph (ba) into subsection (2) of section 5 of the 2007 Act (inspections: containment and escape of fish). The provision will enable an inspector (within the meaning of section 12 of the 2007 Act) to carry out an inspection for the purpose of tracing the origin of any fish known or suspected to have escaped from an inspected farm or any other fish farm.

9.Section 2(2)(b) amends section 5(3)(a) of the 2007 Act to clarify that the powers available to an inspector under that section include powers to take samples of fish or material from fish.

10.Section 2(3) inserts a new section 5A into the 2007 Act. New section 5A(1) enables an inspector to take samples of fish or material from fish, on a fish farm for a purpose mentioned in new section 5A(3). Section 5A(2) enables an inspector to require persons who carry on the business of fish farming to provide them with samples of fish, or material from fish, on the fish farm.

11.Section 5A(3) of the 2007 Act specifies the purposes for which the samples referred to in section 5A(1) and (2) may be taken, including assessing the impact of a fish farm’s operations on the environment and for research purposes.

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