Animal campaigns charity OneKind has launched a petition to the Scottish Parliament with partners Scottish Salmon Think-Tank, Save Seil Sound and the Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland (SARNS) calling for a moratorium on the expansion of the salmon farming industry until welfare and environmental concerns are addressed.
It comes as the aquaculture industry, backed by the Scottish Government, plans to double the value of the salmon industry to the Scottish economy by 2030.
This month, OneKind released a new report Fish welfare on Scotland’s salmon farms which exposed a number of welfare breaches including mass mortality, sea lice infestations, disease and escapes.
Salmon farming also impacts the welfare of other animals as seals are shot, cetaceans are displaced by devices intended to deter seals, crustaceans are damaged by chemicals, and the industry has also been linked to a decline in wild salmon and trout numbers.
OneKind Campaigner, Sarah Moyes said:
“Scotland might be the largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the EU, but the industry’s reputation is becoming severely damaged by mass mortality, disease and lice infestations that are rife on Scottish salmon farms.
“The league tables recently published by OneKind showed that certain companies and sites outperform others in key animal welfare areas. That’s why we are calling on the Scottish Government to halt expansion in the salmon farming industry until standards are improved across the board.”
A spokesperson from Scottish Salmon Think-Tank and the Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland (SARNS) said:
“The Scottish Salmon Think-Tank and the wider Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland (SARNS) welcome this campaign by OneKind highlighting the dreadful conditions under which farmed salmon are being reared. It is crucial to raise awareness about the disastrous impacts of industrial-scale open-net salmon farming in Scotland which is resulting in unacceptable farmed fish mortalities, pollution and diseases affecting our native salmon stocks which are threatened with irrecoverable depletion. Today, there are only a few sea lochs in Western Scotland free of fish farms and the detrimental impact will be felt for decades to come.
“The Scottish Government should live up to its green agenda and halt plans to double production of farmed salmon until these well-documented concerns – recently acknowledged by the Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee – have been adequately addressed.”
Ewan Kennedy, Secretary of Save Seil Sound said:
“While politicians are waking up to the horrors the companies are rushing ahead with applications to expand even further. Fish farming is an industry that kills a quarter of its stock each year and poisons local wildlife with medicine and pesticides. This is intolerable and there has to be a moratorium right now!”
Notes to editor:
- OneKind is Scotland’s leading animal campaigns charity working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals. OneKind works to expose cruelty and persecution through investigations and research covering Scotland’s wildlife, farm animals and pets. Find out more about our work at onekind.scot
- The petition on salmon farming can be found here
- Read OneKind’s report Fish welfare on Scottish salmon farms here
- Read OneKind’s report The welfare status of Scottish salmon farms and companies in Scotland here
- Photo Credit – The Ferret – https://theferret.scot/pictures-diseases-farmed-fish/