Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, 18 January 2016
Save Scottish Salmon: Stop Norwegian Salmon Farms Killing Wild Fish!
- Millions of 'Viking' salmon on the lam in Scotland
Wester Ross, Scotland - The iconic Atlantic salmon is facing imminent extinction on the West coast of Scotland due to the lethal impacts of escapes, diseases and parasites from salmon farms. Salmon farming is quite literally killing wild fish - that's the stark message from yesterday's Mail On Sunday newspaper .
Earlier today Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland launched a parliamentary petition - "Protecting wild salmonids from sea lice from Scottish salmon farms" - calling for statutory tighter regulation of salmon farms to protect wild salmon and sea trout.
Tony Andrews, Chief Executive of the Atlantic Salmon Trust, told The Mail on Sunday: "All rivers in the West Coast bio-range are under severe stress from the impact of salmon farming, Some are threatened with the extinction of both wild salmon and sea trout. Some already appear to have reached that stage. For every wild salmon in Scotland, there are at least 200 farmed salmon in cages sharing the same space. It's simply not sustainable."
Award-winning angling author Bruce Sandison wrote in The Mail on Sunday: "Nothing has been done, and nothing is proposed to be done to halt the catastrophic collapse of wild salmon and sea-trout in the west highlands and Scotland; where many informed observers believe that disease and pollution from primarily Norwegian-owned factory fish farms has brought distinct populations of wild salmon and sea-trout in many rivers, such as the River Balgy, to the verge of extinction. The source of the Balgy is in Loch Damph. There are salmon rearing cages in the loch, and, also, a number of factory salmon farms in sea Loch Torridon, into which the Balgy drains; parasitic sea lice breed on salmon and, essentially, eat them alive, also attack wild fish as they pass by the farm salmon cages. I am convinced that they are primarily responsible for destroying Scotland’s west coast highlands and islands wild salmon and sea-trout."
Don Staniford, Director of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, told The Mail on Sunday: "More than 3.5 million farmed salmon have escaped in Scotland since 1998. Previous sampling on the Balgy nine years ago showed the vast majority of its salmon were of farmed Norwegian origin. Today we believe it probably has no wild salmon. Instead, it's jam-packed with farmed fish - and there are many others like it."
Read more via:
"River of Death: In a corner of Scotland wild salmon are now extinct. Is it just the start of a nationwide natural catastrophe?" (The Mail on Sunday, 17 January 2016)
"Save Our Salmon: Government must act now....or this country risks casting away one of the true wonders of our natural world" (The Mail on Sunday, 17 January 2016)
An analysis in 2014 by GAAIA of official statistics published online by the Scottish Government revealed that since 1998 (when statistics became publicly available), there have been over 3.4 million escapees in nearly 200 separate incidents. In January 2014, 154,569 farmed salmon escaped from a salmon farm in Shetland. In June 2015, 16,000 farmed salmon escaped from a Marine Harvest farm in Argyll.
On average since 1998, there have been 11 escape incidents and 201,000 escapees per year. A comparison with farmed salmon production data published annually by the Scottish Government revealed that there has been one escapee per 0.7 tonnes of farmed salmon production since 1998 - with 2011, 2005 and 2000 the worst years for escapes. A comparison with wild salmon catch statistics revealed that farmed salmon escapees are twice the number of wild salmon caught.
For more background please read "Scottish Salmon's Great Escape"
Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland launched a parliamentary petition earlier today calling for tighter regulation of salmon farms to protect wild fish - read the petition via PE01598: Protecting wild salmonids from sea lice from Scottish salmon farms
Paul Knight, CEO of the Salmon & Trout Conservation UK and Co-Chair of the NGOs at the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO), said in a press release: "The current regulatory regime for fish farms in Scotland gives very little protection to wild salmon and sea trout and is untenable. If Scottish Government is to live up to its international obligations to protect wild fish, it must now bolster the regulatory control of salmon farming to limit any potential damage. Measures must include provision for proper sanctions against farms that transgress – including early culling or harvest. It is inexcusable that Scotland lags so far behind Norway in this respect."
Download press release as a PDF online here
Read more via "Invasion of the Viking Salmon" (The Sunday Times, 3 March 2013)