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Vive la France!

Brittany shows the way forward with the first land-based salmon farm in Europe

Finistere, the French region which will soon host Europe's first closed containment salmon farm.
Finistere, the French region which will soon host Europe's first closed containment salmon farm.

In November a wave of violent demonstrations erupted in Brittany in the food industry over the announcement of an ‘Ecotax’; Breton farmers, showing their alliance and determination by wearing a red bonnet, claimed it would make their products less competitive. So President Hollande sent his Minister to Brittany to try to calm things down.

Besides meeting the ‘Bonnets Rouges’ [the Red Berrets], Stephane Le Foll, the minister in charge of agriculture, also met Vincent Gelamur, director of Armoric, a successful salmon smoking company who want to build a land-based salmon farm in Finistere. Marine Harvest, the largest salmon farmer in the world is partly pulling out of Brittany and Armoric is determined to secure a regular supply of high quality farmed salmon by building the first land-based farm in Europe; clean and sustainable, virtually no antibiotics and pollution-free.

Stephane LeFoll, left, was impressed with the project; the company would be investing some €10 million in the project and hoped for support from the French government. 

Seafood Source, a global aquaculture organisation, commented, “The salmon farming industry needs to move towards closed containment systems,” whilst a French salmon conservationist said, “If we want to have a salmon farming industry that is less damaging for the environment and furthers the conservation of the wild Atlantic salmon stocks, then this is the way.”

Surely it is time for the Scottish Government to invoke ‘the auld alliance’ and follow suit?

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