I'm sure, like all lovers of salmon and sea trout, you'll be furious to learn that, despite knowing that sea lice from fish farms can be lethal to wild fish, the Scottish government still plans to increase salmon farming to meet a seemingly insatiable global demand.
This amounts to a potential death sentence for wild salmon and sea trout on Scotland's west coast and Islands where salmon farms are located. Here's why:
- Salmon are currently farmed in Open-Net Cages, allowing sea lice parasites, disease, waste and pesticides to flow out and contaminate wild fish and the marine environment around the farms.
- Juvenile wild fish on their way to the sea are at particularly high risk. They have to run a gauntlet of hundreds of salmon farms, many teeming with sea lice.
- It takes only 15 lice to kill a juvenile and even fewer to weaken them so they are less likely to survive to maturity.
Research in Canada and Norway indicates there is an off-the-shelf solution – closed containment fish farms, biologically separating farmed from wild fish. But no one in the Scottish Government or fish farming industry wants to listen. S&TCUK's Fish Farming Campaign is designed to make them sit up, take notice and CHANGE THINGS.
What is S&TCUK doing?
The Salmon & Trout Conservation UK is a charity, but one that campaigns for changes that will protect wild fish and their habitats.
- We are pressurising the government into sharpening its regulatory teeth and using them.
- We are publishing regular reports on sea lice numbers and escapes from fish farms, successfully keeping the issue in the public arena
- We are exposing supermarkets to the dirty truth so they change their suppliers.
- We are responding to all planning issues concerning new and expanding fish farms, and advising local communities on how to do likewise
- But we need you to help us finish the job and end the free-for-all of open-net cages and change to complete separation of wild and farmed salmon in closed containment systems.
- Fish farms need to do the research, prove the concept and get on with it.
- And while they are doing that, the Government must regulate the industry more rigorously so that wild fish protection starts NOW.
There are already 400 Open-Net Cage farms in Scotland. If nothing happens and intensive farming continues unchecked, wild salmon and sea trout on the west coast of Scotland will continue to die because of the way the industry operates.
You can help stop it. Join S&TCUK today and add your pressure on industrial fish farms to clean up their act.
Your membership will help us make the Government and industry clean up its fish farming act. Because as we pile on the pressure and force the research, they will no longer be able shut their eyes and ears to the need for greater regulation to protect wild fish, and ultimately a move to the closed containment solution.
Please hurry. The clock is ticking down to Spring 2015 when juvenile salmon and sea trout will have to run the Scottish west coast fish farming gauntlet on their way to their ocean feeding grounds.
- Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland makes formal complaint to European Commission on Scottish Government's failure to address the impacts of sea lice parasites produced by Scottish salmon farms threatening west coast wild salmon and sea trout
- S&TCUK complain to ASA and Trading standards re: Sainsburys
- Impact of Salmon Aquaculture on Wild Salmonids 2013
- Summary of impacts of sea lice on Fish Farms
- S&TCUK Freedom Food Report
- Impacts of salmon aquaculture on native salmonids fisheries and the aquatic environment- briefing paper (2010)
- Aquaculture Policy Statement (2010)
- Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue; Draft indicators for environmentally, socially and economically responsible salmon farming. (2009)
- Ford and Myers. (2008). A Global Assessment of Salmon Aquaculture Impacts on Wild Salmonids
- Marine Conservation Society. (2007). Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fish Farming
- Lenfest Ocean Program. (2007). Aquaculture Impacts on Wild Salmon
- Response to Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill consultation
- Response to PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH IN THE ENGLISH AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY
- S&TCUK Organic Pollution Report August 2012