Large supermarkets urged to avoid suppliers not complying with sea lice limits
2017-10-31 11:33:06   copyfrom:    hits:

Salmon farm in Scotland (Photo: SSC)UNITED KINGDOMTuesday, October 31, 2017,02:10 (GMT + 9)Salmon and Trout Conser

Salmon farm in Scotland. (Photo: SSC)


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Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 02:10 (GMT + 9)


Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TC) has revealed astonishingly high sea lice levels in Scottish fish farms, which it considers a proof that the Scottish Government regulation of salmon farms is ‘wholly inadequate.’

The conservation group stresses that this happens despite the new sea lice regime, announced by the Scottish Government at the June 2016 inter-governmental North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization meeting, which has been operating since October 2016.

“More worrying, the Scottish Government’s flagship new policy appears to be a sham, little more than a cynical ‘widening of the goalposts’ to the industry’s advantage, a policy with no teeth,” pointed out Andrew Graham-Stewart, Director of S&TC Scotland.

According to the published data, the worst performing company in the Scottish Islands and overall worst performing company in Scotland was Grieg Seafood Shetland Ltd. 

In addition, the worst performing company in the West Highlands was The Scottish Salmon Company. One of its farms, Furnace Quarry farm was allowed by Scottish Government inspectors to continue to operate despite an astonishing sequence of seven weeks, with adult female lice numbers ranging from 15 to 23 per farmed fish.

Meanwhile, the worst performing smaller operator was Loch Duart Ltd, whose prolonged failure to control sea lice, in Graham-Stewart’s view, despite the company’s over-trumpeted use of cleaner fish, is evidence that cleaner fish such as wrasse or lumpfish are simply not the panacea the industry’s constant spinning suggests.

S&TCS points out that leading supermarkets have been called on to stop selling salmon reared by Scottish farms, adding that Co-op, Tesco and Sainsbury's all stock salmon from the worst affected farms.

“We have shared our ideas for change with Marine Scotland and hope Scottish Ministers will now work with environmental and conservation bodies to map out a sustainable future for the industry that no longer damages the precious Scottish marine environment and the species within it,” Graham-Stewart concluded.

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