Boost For More Transparency on Sea Lice Levels
Scotland’s largest salmon producer is set to publish data on sea lice. Marine Harvest has signalled its intention to seek formal certification from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). That means it will have to comply with the ASC’s farm-by-farm sea lice data publication requirement.
Scottish Conservatives rural affairs spokesman Alex Fergusson MSP said:
“Marine Harvest is the biggest producer of farmed salmon in Scotland, so this announcement represents a very significant move by the industry.
“Marine Harvest’s decision to go down this route is to be greatly commended, but it puts the spotlight firmly on the rest of the industry which must now follow suit if it wishes to avoid the question of ‘what is there to hide’ in relation to sea lice data.
Guy Linley-Adams, Solicitor to the Salmon & Trout Association Scotland’s Aquaculture Campaign said:
“In order to receive this certification, Marine Harvest will have to publish weekly farm specific sea lice data individually for each of their farms. This is what the S&TAS has called for for many years, and ensures producers stand by their environmental obligations. For this reason we do welcome Marine Harvest's decision and hope all other fish farms will follow its lead.
However, this isn’t the end of the story. Marine Harvest still have fish-farms in the wrong places, as do all fish-farmers. They are too near to wild salmonid rivers threatening wild fish conservation and those farms need to be relocated. Loch Ewe is perhaps the most infamous case of a fish-farm in the wrong place. The S&TAS wants to see that farm closed."
Hughie Campbell Adamson, Chairman of Salmon & Trout Association Scotland added:
"Whilst Marine Harvest should be congratulated for recognising their responsibilities and finally accepting the importance of public scrutiny, you have to ask why both Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and the Scottish Government fought so doggedly to stop this very provision being included in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill in the debate in Parliament last week. Both claimed that to disclose this information would be detrimental to the commercial interests of the farms; clearly Marine Harvest see no such problem, and would expect the rest of the industry to follow. This though is just a start; the environment and wild fish will continue to suffer until all production in Scotland is moved to closed containment."
Find out more about the STA campaign on the Stand Up for Wild Salmon webpage.
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