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  1. #1
    Fish&Fly
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    China deal on farmed salmon will hasten wild salmon and sea trout demise

    The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) highlights dangers of trade deal.

    First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond MSP, yesterday jubilantly declared that the Scottish fish farming industry may need to double its production of salmon to satisfy Chinese demand, following the signing of a new trade deal.

    S&TA believes this could spell further disaster for Scotland's iconic and endangered West Highland wild salmon and sea trout stocks.

    S&TA CEO, Paul Knight, declares, "it is surely premature and irresponsible to signal such an enormous increase in farmed salmon production before the Scottish Government and fish farming industry have addressed the dire existing problems caused by fish farming. These include the transfer of deadly parasitic sea lice between farmed and wild fish, and the dilution of the genetic integrity of our native fish stocks through their interbreeding with farm escapees."

    Mr Knight continued, "we applaud the stance and honesty of the UK Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon MP, who, earlier this week, acknowledged that Scottish salmon farming has had an adverse impact on wild fish stocks. We look forward to a similarly honest approach from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Salmon Producers' Association."

    Guy Linley-Adams, Lawyer with the S&TA Aquaculture Campaign, said, "for the First Minister to advocate doubling the industry's output without apparently any prior consideration of his legal obligations towards the conservation of wild fish and the impact on the environment, merely demonstrates a lack of understanding and commitment towards protecting these valuable and iconic natural resources."

    This is particularly alarming in the light of public comments made at the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland Conference last March by leading Government scientists, that the industry may well have reached its natural capacity, due mainly to the inability to control sea lice and disease in fish farms.

    S&TA is working in conjunction with other wild fish organisations, including the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards and Fish Legal, to protect wild salmon and sea trout from the impact of poorly operated and regulated fish farming.

  2. #2
    Fish&Fly
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    Andrew Flitcroft, Editor of Trout & Salmon with very hard hitting response to the China deal in the Observer, Sunday 20 February 2011

    You're so wrong about salmon, Mr Salmond
    The new trade deal with China has terrifying implications for our wild fish stocks

    "Visiting trade delegations do not often register on my radar. However, the high-level Chinese visit to Scotland in January was different. Apart from the inevitable "gift" to the hosts, consigning two hapless giant pandas to a life of incarceration in Edinburgh Zoo, a new trade deal on Scottish farmed salmon between the two countries was signed, allowing access for the first time to the vast Chinese market." ......

    Read full letter

  3. #3
    Fish&Fly
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    Scotland's wild salmon face 'calamity' from trade deal with China

    David Sharrock in The Observer, Sunday 20 February 2011 also responds with stark message:

    Deadly parasites found in fish farms will pose greater risk to wild fish if production soars because of Chinese deal, conservationists warn


    China's appetite for Scottish farmed salmon is threatening dwindling stocks of sea trout and wild salmon, according to conservationists.

    A new trade agreement was signed last month with the Chinese vice-premier, Li Keqiang, by Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, who boasted that "even if 1% of the people of China decide to eat Scottish salmon, then we'll have to double production in Scotland".

    But the prospect of a massive increase in farmed fish production has horrified defenders of Scotland's depleted indigenous wild salmon and sea trout runs.......

    Read full article.

  4. #4
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    In repsonse to this opinion in the Observer:

    A Scottish Government spokesman said:

    “These remarks are simply ill-informed, both about the situation in Scotland and about the relationship between Scotland and China.

    “We have taken considerable steps to protect our iconic wild salmon, with extensive investment to support the conservation of the species. Salmon stocks have stabilised following declines going back 50 years – well before fish farming became established in Scotland. Similar declines have been detected on both sides of the North Atlantic.

    “Scottish salmon farming is fully regulated and we have a framework in place to address fish health and minimise escapes, while developing better scientific understanding of interactions between farmed and wild fish. Thanks to these measures escaped fish numbers are at an all-time low. A working group established by the Scottish Government has made a number of recommendations to improve sea-lice control, which are being taken forward in partnership with industry.

    “As many of Scotland's largest salmon rivers drain into the North Sea, a presumption against marine aquaculture development on the east and north coasts has been in place since 1999. Some 80 per cent of rod and line caught salmon is caught in his area. Further to this, there are four Special Areas of Conservation in the West of Scotland that give wild salmon extra protection.”

  5. #5
    Fish&Fly
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    In a letter to the Observer, Goldman Environmental award winner, Orri Vigfusson of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund, questions whether the Scottish Government really understands what their Scottish Salmon policy is!


    Truly a fishy business

    The Scottish government has failed to protect wild fish from commercial netting and has allowed a fish-farming free-for-all to take place on Scotland's west coast. ("Scottish salmon face 'calamity' from China trade deal", News).

    The government says aquaculture is a vital Scottish industry yet it is Norwegian interests that dominate. The salmon farms, mostly owned by Norwegians, even use a Norwegian strain of salmon and yet the industry tries to fool the consumer by associating itself with Scotland.

    It's nearly 50 years since Lord Hunter's bill led to a drift net ban that probably saved Scotland's wild salmon from extinction. His proposal to stop all salmon netting was, sadly, not accepted. It's why Scottish wild salmon catches have dropped from 550,000 to 100,000 since.

    Commercial fishermen in Greenland and the Faroe Islands took a decision 20 years ago to stop catching salmon to help bolster international stocks. This allowed 1 million salmon to return to Scotland.

    But these fish were commercially butchered on returning home. Scottish coastal netsmen killed 970,000 of them in the same period. It is time for the Scottish government to come clean over Scottish salmon.

    Orri Vigfusson

    North Atlantic Salmon Fund

    Reykjavík



    The Observer

  6. #6
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    Am I the only one who finds this fellows last name to be.... be .... well lets leave at 'interesting.'


    "You're so wrong about salmon, Mr Salmond"

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