1,000 signatures reached
To: The Scottish Government
Time to Clean up Scotland's Salmon Farming Industry
The Scottish salmon industry is in dire need of reform: ever increasing levels of sea lice which threaten Scotland’s wild salmon stocks, infectious diseases resulting in the deaths of millions of fish each year and contamination of our beautiful sea lochs and coastal waters from chemical pollutants have shown that this industry’s business model is broken.
Why is this important?
Many jobs and much of Scotland's iconic wildlife depend on the health of our coastal environment. But Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy & Connectivity (REC) is determined to expand Scotland’s production of farmed salmon by 2030. This would be an act of sheer recklessness given the grave concerns surrounding the industry as it is practised today.
The REC committee will hold an inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland later this year. It is vital that we make our voices heard and let our MSPs know that there can be no expansion of salmon farming without radical reform. Here are the issues at stake:
• Scotland's seas are home to incredible wildlife, including wild salmon, sea trout, porpoises, dolphins, whales and seals and are home to a wealth of life on the seabed which is vital to our valuable crab, prawn and lobster fisheries. They are under acute threat because of the harmful impacts of open net salmon farming.
• A truly sustainable coastal economy can regenerate around many uses of restored seas and fisheries. Jobs are precious in rural areas. By allowing one industry to pollute the sea, we threaten jobs that use the sea sustainably, such as well-managed fisheries and wildlife tourism. By protecting them, the coastal economy can thrive long term.
• Parasitic sea lice, thriving in overcrowded open net salmon pens, are driving wild salmon and sea trout numbers to dangerously low levels.
• Toxic chemicals to treat sea lice now exceed safe levels in at least 45 Scottish sea lochs, and studies implicate them in harm to crustaceans and other forms of marine life far from the farm cages.
• Some 130 salmon farms on Scotland's west coast use Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) to scare away seals with loud underwater noises. If the ADDs don’t work, fish farmers are permitted to simply shoot them.These ADDs also affect porpoises, dolphins and whales, even though it is illegal to disturb them.
• Now the industry, with the government's support, wants to double its annual production to around 300,000 tonnes of salmon by 2030.
The environmental impacts are already dangerous, so if you care about the health of our marine environment, please act now!
Tell the Scottish Government that salmon farmers must clean up their act before they are allowed to expand.
The Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland (SARNS) is a growing coalition of community, coastal and environmental groups and concerned individuals from all over the west coast and islands of Scotland. We are campaigning for immediate reform of the salmon farming industry.