Simpson hails success of Salmon Development Project The Scottish Salmon Development Project has been hailed as a success after its first year of operation. On the first anniversary of the scheme, SQS chief executive Brian Simpson said: "The support and commitment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise has contributed to the increase in exports of Scottish Quality Salmon particularly to France where it is marketed under the prestigious Label Rouge. "Worldwide exports of Scottish salmon produced by members of SQS have increased to 50% of production ­ a tangible business benefit for our members and indeed the Scottish economy, as Scottish salmon represents over 40% of Scottish food exports and was worth £150m in 1999." SQS further pushed its export drive at the European Seafood Exhibition in Brussels this week, as did the Shetland Salmon Farmers' Association. Export development is only one aspect of the HIE part-funded three-year project, the other being a series of ongoing technical initiatives which focus on environmental management and product quality development. Ian Pritchard, fish farming estate manager at the Crown Estate, said: "The CE is focusing on a number of technical projects of which the Tripartite Working Group ­ a joint initiative between SQS, wild fisheries interests and the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department ­ is key." SQS has also received an award of grant aid under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance Scheme, administered by SEERAD. This assistance contributes through communications and PR activity to raise awareness of Scottish farmed salmon in both the UK and France. {{MEAT }}