In a recent post I reported on the massive sales of Scottish Salmon across Europe and beyond. I opened with:
‘After investing more than £20 million in improving the health of Scotland’s farmed salmon stock (see ref below), the industry is now booming. In 2016, 75 000 tonnes, worth £451 million, were exported to 60 countries!’
There had been health problems reported a year or two earlier. This seems to be the basis for the recovery. The Ballan Wrasse is a cleaner fish that eats the sea lice which were responsible for problems with the Salmon. It’s a natural solution much preferable to a chemical one, I’d say. There’s also a Corkwing Wrasse.
The chair of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said:
‘In particular, we want to highlight the successful introduction of wrasse as a very effective and environmentally friendly way to keep salmon free of lice, which occur naturally in the water. A significant variety of marine life thrives around salmon farms, something which is not fully recognised by regulators.’
Did they spend £20 million identifying the role of the Wrasse? Seems a lot.
The Scottish Government has committed £6.4 billion for a number of big projects such as Orkney’s new hospital, the A737 Dalry Bypass and Forth Valley College’s Falkirk Campus.
We’ve already seen major projects near completion for this year including the M8 M73 M74 improvements and the frankly awesome Queensferry Crossing. The benefits from these will be huge in the years to come in terms of the economy and our personal convenience as travellers.
Meanwhile we hear the £100 million HS2 high-speed rail link in England might be cancelled in fear of Brexit costs. Let’s hope so because otherwise Scottish taxpayers would be contributing to something else they would not benefit from.
I’ve written already on these other indicators of our strengthening economy:
Scottish businesses showing signs of greater health than those in the rest of the UK
‘Fewer Scottish businesses failing in 2017’
Robust Scottish economy apparent in significant increases in demand for professional staff
Yesterday we heard from Accountancy in Business (AiB) of another indicator of growing business health in Scots accessing debt solutions. In the fourth quarter of 2016-17 there was a 3.9% fall in bankruptcies. Also debtors paid off their debts in greater numbers at 423 compared with only 328 a year before. Personal insolvencies have more than halved in the duration of the three SNP administrations.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, explained:
‘The number of people falling into financial difficulty and having to seek debt relief has been falling steadily for some time. These figures are the second lowest since 2005/06 at which time award of bankruptcy was reserved to the courts. Since then, access to bankruptcy for those facing serious financial difficulty has been simplified greatly and in this context today’s figures highlight the low levels of personal insolvency we have in Scotland.’
By contrast we see this in the Guardian in October 2016:
‘The number of people becoming insolvent across England and Wales leapt by a fifth in the third quarter of 2016, with experts warning that the numbers could continue to increase as the cost of living rises following the UK’s Brexit vote.’
If it was the other way round you can be sure the Scottish Government would attract some kind of blame from our mainstream media, so some credit for this and the above other indicators of better business health must go to them.
After investing more than £20 million in improving the health of Scotland’s farmed salmon stock (see ref below), the industry is now booming. In 2016, 75 000 tonnes, worth £451 million, were exported to 60 countries!
This has resulted in major investment in research and development and in new production facilities with new jobs including those requiring highly educated workers.
This is just another element in Scotland’s hugely successful food and drinks sector, outperforming rUK by tonnes and providing more evidence, were it necessary, of our ability to thrive as an independent nation. See:
SNP Government-funded agents in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan and Singapore, help Scotland increase exports of food and drink to Asia to more than £1 billion.
Please remember to share and to re-share all of this stuff from http://www.scoop.it/t/talking-up-scotland , especially to waverers you know, as we approach the General Election and Indyref2. Things can get forgotten.
In only ten years the residents of Benbecula, Ersikay and South Uist have achieved far more than any private landowner has ever done. They now have a £10 million wind farm, a £10 million marina and a world-renowned golf course. They have total assets of £35 million and have big plans for the future to create new jobs and increase the population of, currently 3 500.
Their plans include a new distillery, an extended harbour at Lochboisdale which will enable bigger ferries and cruise ships to enter and a new village to accommodate workers at the new harbour.
It clearly pays to take control of your own lives. However, there is still some way to go. See:
Scotland has the most inequitable land ownership in the west. Why? at:
Also, see this from the Scottish Government:
‘It is claimed that currently 432 private land owners own 50% of the private land in rural Scotland. The latest estimate of Scotland’s population is 5,327,000 , so this means that half of a fundamental resource for the country is owned by 0.008% of the population. As a measure of inequality in a modern democracy, this is exceptional and is in need of explanation.’
I’ve written before about the fast growing demand from the huge economies of China, India and the other smaller countries in the area. See:
Oil predicted to settle at $60 to $70 per barrel over next three years!
Partly, but only partly, the increased demand results from OPEC’s own output cuts (to be extended for at least another 6 months). Energy Voice has headlined these dramatic flows from the North Sea as:
North Sea oil flooding to Asia like never before on Opec cuts (26th)
North Sea oil glut to ease as huge loads shipped to Asia 924th)
Asia grabs record North Sea crude oil as OPEC cuts supply (24th)
In particular, the Asian shortages are in the heavier grades which the North Sea has an abundance of.
According to Energy Voice:
‘North Sea oil is flooding into Asia like never before thanks to the most competitive crude prices in seven years. OPEC’s own output cuts are partly to blame.’
In April alone, North Sea tankers have taken more than 16 million barrels to Asia. Once more the income will be flooding into the UK Treasury. We need to move fast to keep some of this for Scotland’s future.
Wind turbines at Findhorn Ecovillage make the community a net exporter of electricity.
A new £1.8 million wind turbine project has just been turned on in Achiltibuie, Wester Ross. It will be owned and managed by the Coigach Community.
According to Energy Voice, this will be the first large community-owned turbine in the mainland Highlands. Isn’t Findhorn in the Highlands? It will provide around £2 million of benefits over its estimated 20 year lifespan for the local population of 271. According to the Energy Voice article:
‘The turbine, near Achiltibuie, is now producing power which is supplied to the National Grid. The resulting income will be used to improve local services and infrastructure, help establish new businesses, provide bursaries and fund training for all ages.’
I know of at least a few more of these, in Huntly and in Udny (Aberdeenshire). There were actually 37 in total by 2015 according to the Energy Saving Trust.