Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, and MP, Angus MacNeil, have today responded to the announcement by the Scottish Salmon Company that they intend to reduce the size of their workforce at their fish processing facilities in the Isle of Lewis during the course of this year.

Mr MacNeil and Dr Allan said that this would obviously be a cause of concern to many of the families who depend on the company and that it was now important that public agencies and the company work together to ensure that as many of these jobs as possible could be reinstated over time.

Angus MacNeil commented:

“It is obviously concerning that the Scottish Salmon Company have begun a consultation process on job losses.  I understand that the current difficulties are due to the lack of available volumes this year and the Amoebic Gill Disease, which affected many in the Salmon farming industry.

“It is however pleasing that there is a long term commitment to continue production and processing in the Western Isles.

“Again, we realise how important the salmon farming sector is in these islands.

“We should all be aware that the best quality salmon in the world probably comes from the Hebrides and the Scottish Salmon Company is at the forefront of this and also in providing much needed employment in our islands.”

Alasdair Allan commented:

“Clearly this news has an impact on the lives of many people in the islands and comes in the midst of what are already economically difficult times. I will be speaking today to Stewart McLelland, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Company, and will also be in touch with Enterprise Minister, Fergus Ewing about this subject.

“The company has indicated that it intends this reduction in the workforce to be temporary and it is now obviously in everyone’s interest that we all work together to make sure that the company is in a position to start taking people on again as soon as possible.

“I have a meeting with Mr McLelland arranged shortly where I will be raising these issues and am more than willing to meet with any individual who is concerned about their circumstances.”