After section 17

Part of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:15 pm on 1st March 2007.

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Photo of Jamie McGrigor Jamie McGrigor Conservative 3:15 pm, 1st March 2007

I listened closely to what Mr Finnie said, but I still think that we should take further measures to strengthen prevention of the parasite ever reaching Scottish rivers. For years, the Atlantic Salmon Trust and others have issued leaflets about Gyrodactylus salaris, and I feel that the Parliament should be strengthening their arm. I re-emphasise to members the fact that amendment 1 would merely insert into the bill the cross-party recommendation of the Environment and Rural Development Committee—a recommendation that was also cited in the expert report that was commissioned by ministers last year.

Gyrodactylus salaris has destroyed river systems in Norway. If it ever came here, it would not only destroy our rivers, but could badly damage the whisky industry, fish farming, the recreational angling sector and associated tourism all over Scotland. We simply cannot allow that to happen. That is a nightmare scenario, and we should do our best to prevent it from happening. I therefore urge members, despite the assurances from the Executive, to back amendment 1, in the name of Ted Brocklebank, and amendments 1A and 15, in the name of Richard Lochhead.