Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland applauds Environment Committee report into environmental impacts of salmon farming. Comprehensive report underlines why urgent action is required to protect wild salmon and sea trout
The Scottish Parliament’s Environment Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has today published its report into the environmental impacts of salmon farming.
Andrew Graham-Stewart, Director of S&TC Scotland, said:
“Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland is delighted by the Committee’s Report.
This is a complete vindication of what we have been arguing for many years now, often in the face of denials and opposition from within Scottish Government and Scottish public authorities, that open cage salmon farming in sea lochs is way out of balance with the environment, particularly with the conservation of wild salmon and sea trout.
It was our formal Petition to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 that has led us to this moment.
We are grateful to all the MSP members of both the Petitions Committee and the Environment Climate Change and Land Reform Committee and we will now work with the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, in their forthcoming review of salmon farming, to come up with the solutions.
For S&TC Scotland, that must mean, in the medium term, moving the entire industry into closed containment, either on land, or in marine structures, built by Scottish marine engineering expertise.
However, in the short term, there must be an immediate moratorium on all new farms or any expansion of existing farms, until all impacts, including those on wild salmon and sea trout are under proper control, which the Committee clearly realises is not the case today.
We also need an urgent change in Scottish law, to plug the gap in the law that fails to protect wild salmon and sea trout from the damage caused by fish farms. At last, that legal gap has been recognised and MSPs now have a duty to enact new law, as soon as they can, to protect these iconic Scottish species.”