Salmon producers agree to publish reports on fish deaths

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 12 February 2018 in News

With MSPs holding an inquiry into the salmon farming industry, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation suggested to the Environment Committee that producers would also consider publishing historical reports

Image credit: Ben-Benjamin

Scottish salmon producers have agreed to publish reports on the number of fish deaths caused by disease each year on a farm by farm basis, following concerns over the environmental impact of the industry on Scotland.

With the Scottish Parliament holding an inquiry into the salmon farming industry, David Sandison, general manager of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, suggested to MSPs at the Environment Committee that producers would also consider publishing historical reports.

Sandison said: “We will provide mortality data at farm level and will, from time to time, give a commentary on any disease issues that might be associated with that mortality.”

He added: “There is absolutely no problem with our being completely open and transparent about that data. There is nothing that we wish to hide away.”

Around 146,000 fish escape from salmon farms on average each year, while campaigners have highlighted a 10-15 per cent mortality rate among farmed salmon, with some farms seeing mortality rates rise to 40 per cent.

Meanwhile data from the industry suggests there were 10 million fish mortalities in 2016, out of a total 65 million farmed salmon in Scotland.

Alex Rowley pointed to mortality rates, saying: “When 20 to 25 per cent of fish are dying of disease, you must surely say that there is a problem at the core of your business.

“Do you not agree that, rather than expand the business, you have to start looking at the problems? I am not getting the sense that there is a clear understanding of the issues.”

In an attempt to allay concerns, the SSPO announced that, subject to agreement with regulators, it plans to publish monthly reports on each farm.

Sandison said: “The industry has been chastened for a long time about the supply of information on sea lice numbers on the farms in Scotland. For the committee’s benefit and for the wider public, I can confirm that, from here on and forthwith, we will publish all data on sea lice counts on farms in Scotland on a farm-by-farm basis. That will back up the decision that the SSPO board took in November last year, which is now in the public domain.”



Related Articles

"No justification" for mountain hare cull, warns Scottish Labour
22 May 2018

Scottish Labour MSP Colin Smyth argues “there can be no justification for the mass slaughter of nearly 40,000 of these iconic Scottish animals in less than one year”

National Trust for Scotland calls for halt to fish farm expansion
15 May 2018

Fergus Ewing has faced calls to halt the expansion of the Scottish aquaculture industry until new regulations aimed at providing greater environmental protection are introduced

Bernie Sanders congratulates Scotland for "significant progress” in renewable energy
10 May 2018

Bernie Sanders says recent stats on onshore wind output show green technology is “not only a viable replacement for fossil fuels, but a means of creating good-paying jobs and leading the...

Breakthrough in forensics to hand investigators a new tool in fight against wildlife crime
20 April 2018

With illegal traps often placed in remote locations, investigators have previously struggled to collect evidence of wrong doing

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page