Fish Legal has submitted evidence to the first stage of the Scottish Parliament’s inquiry into the salmon farming industry arguing that the current regulatory structure for aquaculture is not fit for purpose.
The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee is considering evidence, in light of a specially commissioned scientific report assessing the environmental impacts of aquaculture and approaches to mitigation, before making recommendations to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, which is conducting the main inquiry.
In its submissions, Fish Legal draws the Committee’s attention to particular failings in the current approach that include:
- the paucity of monitoring data to inform management decisions;
- the inadequacy of sea lice treatment trigger thresholds for the protection of wild fish;
- the lack of suitable powers to require a farmer to stop farming salmon where lice levels on a farm are out of control;
- the lack of a specific duty on Marine Scotland to consider and protect the interests of wild salmon as part of their general duties to regulate aquaculture; and
- concluding that the current regulatory structure for aquaculture is not capable of mitigating the impacts on wild salmon and sea trout of the transmission of sea lice from farmed fish to wild fish.
Fish Legal will make further specific submissions as the inquiry proper gets underway later in the year.