The Sunday Mail reported (29 January 2017):
Download a PDF version of the article online here
The Sunday Mail reported (29 January 2017):
Download a PDF version of the article online here
The Business Times:
The China Post:
The article was also published by Japan Today, Daily Magazine, The Independent, Times of News, Phoenix Sun, Malay Mail, the Manila Standard, Digital Journal, The Daily Tribune, L'Express, La Montagne, Emirates 24/7, Newcastle Advertiser and Oman Observer.
"That cheap salmon you’re eating comes with a huge social and environment cost," reported the Malay Mail (16 January 2017).
The Press & Journal reported (17 January 2017):
Here's the newspaper version of the article (download as a PDF online here):
Here's the Mortality Event Report obtained via FOI from the Scottish Government:
Read more via:
Fish Farming Expert reported (16 January 2017):
Read more via:
Press Release from the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (9 January 2017) - download as a PDF online here
Policing Lice-Ridden Scottish Salmon
- New "Enforcement Regime" following £300 million losses
A new 'Enforcement Regime' policing lice-ridden Scottish salmon farms is to be introduced from 1 April 2017 - despite "grumbles" from the salmon farming industry.
Read more via The Herald: "Imminent action on £300m sea lice problem" (9 January 2017)
Documents obtained via FOI from the Scottish Government reveal that sea lice damage is costing Scottish salmon farming an estimated £300 million per year . Whilst other countries publish site specific sea lice data, Scotland is "out of kilter" concedes a briefing to the Cabinet Secretary. "The aquaculture industry have strong concerns relating to commercial confidentiality and operational sensitivities," stated another briefing. The salmon farming industry "remain resistant to increased legislative controls citing lack of evidence of impacts and significant commercial risks associated with offences or Enforcement Notices," admitted another briefing.
"The fact that even the salmon farming's biggest cheerleader, the Scottish Government, is reading the riot act is symptomatic of the industry's escalating problems," said Don Staniford of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA). "The Scottish Government admit that for the last decade the industry has been riddled with reduced efficacy of sea lice treatments, amoebic gill disease and increased sea lice infestation. Instead of allowing the industry to hide from public scrutiny, the Scottish Government should publish site specific sea lice data as is already the case in Norway, Ireland and Canada. Salmon farms breaching lice limits should be named and shamed and then closed down if non-compliance continues."
Documents obtained by GAAIA from the Scottish Government include:
"Industry are engaged in improving sea lice management but remain resistant to increased legislative controls citing lack of evidence of impacts and significant commercial risks associated with offences or Enforcement Notices," admitted a Scottish Government private briefing paper to the Cabinet Secretary in August 2016 obtained by GAAIA via FOI.
A letter dated October 2016 from the Scottish Government's Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen concedes that since 2007 the sector has been hit hard by "reduced efficacy of sea lice treatments, the emergence of amoebic gill disease and increased challenges associated with sea lice control, all contributing to increased sea lice numbers across the Scottish salmon farming industry."
"Reaching the intervention limit requires the implementation of an explicit action plan, agreed with the Fish Health Inspectorate, which will reduce and maintain the average number of adult female sea lice per fish at the site below the reporting level of 3," stated the letter. "If satisfactory measures cannot be demonstrated then enforcement action will be taken (a more detailed explanation of this policy is attached)."
"In order for industry to implement the required procedures, the enforcement regime will take effect from 1st April 2017," concluded the letter.
"The aquaculture industry have strong concerns relating to commercial confidentiality and operational sensitivities," stated another Scottish Government briefing document in 2016. "If site-level reporting of sea lice levels is made public, there would be increased focus on the performance of individual sites and potential targeting of anti-fish farming lobby activities. The information could be used in order to call for the removal of sites which report high sea lice levels, putting pressure on local authorities and other regulators, and possible loss of production in the short term."
Another briefing paper prepared for the Cabinet Secretary in July 2016 included the admission that:
"Scotland is arguably out of kilter with the other major salmon producing countries in terms of sea lice publication and the industry’s inability to manage sea lice infestation better makes it challenging to hold this line."
The briefing paper for the Cabinet Secretary also conceded that: "Full closed containment salmon farming (on-land)....is not currently economically viable and even if it were the risk is that production would be carried out closer to markets, rather than in the Highlands and islands as now."
In other words, the Scottish Government is protective of the lice-ridden open net cage salmon farming industry as currently practised since a move to closed containment nearer markets would jeopardise what the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation describes as "Scotland’s number one food export with a total value of £494m in 2014".
Last week (1 January 2017), GAAIA published damning data on chemical use on Scottish salmon farms including the revelation that the use of the toxic chemicals Azamethiphos, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Emamectin benzoate and Teflubenzuron increased ten-fold over the last decade.
Read more via:
A briefing paper to Paul Wheelhouse in July 2016 admitted that:
"Resistance to available sea lice treatments is increasing in all salmon producing nations."
"Management of sea lice on farms is the key challenge for the industry both in Scotland and in other aquaculture producing nations such as Norway and Canada," stated the briefing paper. "If not managed satisfactorily then sea lice will limit the future expansion of the industry."
"Scottish Government acknowledges that sea lice management presents the key challenge for the aquaculture industry. Over the last year The Scottish Government has worked cooperatively with the aquaculture industry to agree a new sea lice management policy, including a redefining of “satisfactory measures” for the prevention, reduction and control of sea lice on farms as required by the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007. This includes agreed reporting levels and increased monitoring and intervention. It also includes a backstop limit at which point enforcement action will be taken. We believe that this new policy will result in improvements to the management of sea lice by the aquaculture industry in Scotland."
"We are aware of a large number of mortality events resulting from a combination of both sea lice and on-going gill health issues across parts of Scotland. These have been widely reported by the media recently. Loss of production, in combination with accelerated harvest, has unexpectedly and significantly decreased the stocked biomass in some reporting areas."
"Media interest has been quiet following recent publications of the fish health management reports, however there have been several media articles relating to aquaculture mortality including in relation to the use of a Thermolicer sea lice treatment. We stand ready to respond and Comms have been made aware and provided with appropriate press lines."
Read more via:
The briefing to the Cabinet Secretary also conceded:
"The new policy....includes a requirement to report sea lice levels above 3.0 average female adult lice per fish to Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate. This will initiate a site specific action plan and will require satisfactory control measures to be implemented. As an indication, at a minimum, sites in at least 8 of the reporting areas were over this level at some point in this reported quarter."
Note that Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland reported in December 2016:
"Over the year to September 2016, regions representing 66.4% have been over three adult female lice per fish for at least one month, the level at which the Scottish Government now requires individual farms to produce a “site specific escalation action plan”.
Over the year to September 2016, regions representing 18.2% have been over 8 adult female lice per fish for at least one month, the level at which the Scottish Government announced in May 2016 would result in enforcement action, including the potential to require reduction in biomass.
To date, S&TCS understands that there has been no such enforcement action."
Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland reported in June 2016:
“When it comes to the most serious threat to wild salmonids, sea lice produced by the billion on salmon farms, Scotland essentially relies on what are little more than gentleman’s agreements and unenforceable codes of good practice with the industry which have no status in law. In contrast, the Faroese have almost zero tolerance of any build-up of sea lice and the Norwegians accept no more than 0.5 lice per farmed fish. Yet the Scottish regime now allows up to an astonishing eight lice per farmed fish before any serious remedial action must be considered.”
A briefing paper - "Sea Lice Management and Impacts on Wild Salmonids" - authored by Marine Scotland for the Cabinet Secretary included the questionable claim that:
"No evidence yet exists on the scale of any impacts of lice on wild populations of salmon or sea trout for Scotland."
The Scottish Government's denial of salmon farming's impacts is despite over two decades of scientific research linking sea lice infestation on salmon farms with declines of wild fish .
Notes to Editors:
 A submission to the Cabinet Secretary by Marine Scotland in August 2016 included:
"Recent analysis suggests that parasites account for an annual loss of up to 16.5% of the value of UK aquaculture production. The vast majority of this relates to the treatment of sea lice."
Since Scottish aquaculture production is valued at £1.8 billion (read Scotland Food & Drink's 2016 publication "Aquaculture Growth to 2030" online here) then annual losses due to sea lice could be nearly £300 million.
Read a summary of the FOI reply by GAAIA (January 2017) online here
Read the FOI reply from the Scottish Government (23 December 2016) in full online here (74-page PDF)
 Over the last few decades there has been an increasing weight of scientific evidence pointing to significant impacts of sea lice infestations from salmon farms on wild fish - including (see scientific papers listed below). A Scottish Government paper - "Summary of Science: summary of information relating to impacts of salmon lice from fish farms on wild Scottish sea trout and salmon" - includes:
Read more via the Scottish Government's: "The interactions and effects of sea lice on wild salmon".
The Weight of Scientific Evidence: Sea Lice & Salmon Farms
Finstad, B. (2016). Advances in understanding the impacts of sea lice on wild Atlantic salmon. NASCO, CNL (16) 46.
Shepherd, S. et al (2016). Aquaculture and environmental drivers of salmon lice infestation and body condition in sea trout. Aquaculture & Environment Interactions 8, 597-610.
Murray, A. (2016). Increased frequency and changed methods in the treatment of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) in Scottish salmon farms 2005–2011. Pest Management Science 72 (2), 322-326.
Vollset, K. W. et al (2015). Impacts of parasites on marine survival of Atlantic salmon: a meta-analysis. Fish and Fisheries 17(3), 714-730.
Murray, A. & Hall, M. (2014). Treatment rates for sea lice of Scottish inshore marine salmon farms depend on local (sea loch) farmed salmon biomass and oceanography. Aquaculture Environment Interactions 5 (2), 117-125.
Middlemas, S.J. et al (2013). Relationship between sea lice levels on sea trout and fish farm activity in western Scotland. Fisheries Management and Ecology Volume 20, Issue 1, 68–74.
Torrissen, O. et al (2013). Salmon lice – impact on wild salmonids and salmon aquaculture. Journal of Fish Diseases 36 (3), 171-194.
Peacock, S. et al (2013). Cessation of a salmon decline with control of parasites. Ecological Applications 23 (3), 606-620.
Skilbrei, O.T. et al (2013). Impact of early salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, infestation and differences in survival and marine growth of sea-ranched Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., smolts 1997–2009. Journal of Fish Diseases 36 (3), 249-260.
Krkosek, M et al (2012). Impact of parasites on salmon recruitment in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Gargan, P. et al (2012). Evidence for sea lice-induced marine mortality of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in western Ireland from experimental releases of ranched smolts treated with emamectin benzoate. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 69, 343–353.
Middlemas, S.J. et al (2010). Temporal and spatial patterns of sea lice levels on sea trout in western Scotland in relation to fish farm production cycles. Biology Letters 6.
Penston, M.J. & Davies, I.M. (2009). An assessment of salmon farms and wild salmonids as sources of Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer) copepodids in the water column in Loch Torridon, Scotland. Journal of Fish Diseases 32 (1), 75-88.
Penston, M.J. et el (2008). Spatial and temporal distribution of Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer) larvae in a sea loch containing Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., farms on the north-west coast of Scotland. Journal of Fish Diseases 31 (5), 361-371.
Ford, J.S. & Myers, R.A. (2008). A Global Assessment of Salmon Aquaculture Impacts on Wild Salmonids. PLOS Biology.
Frazer, L.N. (2008). Sea-cage aquaculture, sea lice and declines of wild fish. Conservation Biology 23: 559-607.
Holst, J.C. (2007). Mortality of Seaward-Migrating Post-smolts of Atlantic Salmon Due to
Salmon Lice Infection in Western Norwegian Salmon Stocks. In book: Salmon at the Edge by D. Mills. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, UK. pp.136 - 137.
Krkošek M, Ford JS, Morton A, Lele S, Myers RA, et al. (2007). Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon. Science 318: 1772–1775.
Gillibrand, P.A. & Willis, J.W. (2007). Dispersal of sea lice larvae from salmon farms: a model study of the influence of environmental conditions and larval behaviour. Aquatic Biology. 1, 63–75.
Cunningham, C. (2006). A review of research and field data on relative louse infection levels of wild salmon smolts and sea trout and the proximity of fish farms to river estuaries. Fisheries Research Services Internal Report No 12/06.
Butler, J.R.A. & Walker, A.F. (2006). Characteristics of the sea trout Salmo trutta (L.) stock
collapse in the River Ewe (Wester Ross, Scotland), in 1988-2001. In: Sea Trout Biology Conservation & Management. (Graeme Harris & Nigel Milner, Eds). Proceedings of the 1st International Sea Trout Symposium, July 2005, Cardiff, Wales, 45-59.
McVicar, A. H. (2004). Management actions in relation to the controversy about salmon lice infestations in fish farms as a hazard to wild salmonid populations. Aquaculture Research 35(8): 751-758.
McKibben, M. & Hay, D. (2004). Distributions of planktonic sea lice larvae Lepeophtheirus salmonis in the inter-tidal zone in Loch Torridon, Western Scotland in relation to salmon farm production cycles. Aquaculture Research 35 (8), 742-750.
Penston, M.J. et al (2004). Observations on open-water densities of sea lice larvae in Loch Shieldaig, Western Scotland. Aquaculture 35 (8), 793-805.
Butler JRA, Watt J (2003). Assessing and managing the impacts of marine salmon farms on wild Atlantic salmon in western Scotland: identifying priority rivers for conservation. In: Mills D, editor. Salmon at the edge. Oxford: Blackwell Science. pp. 93–118.
Gargan, P.G. et al (2003). The relationship between sea lice infestation, sea lice production and sea trout survival in Ireland, 1992–2001. In Salmon at the Edge. Edited by D. Mills. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, UK. pp. 119–135.
Holst, J.C. et al (2003). Mortality of seaward-migrating post-smolts of Atlantic salmon due to salmon lice infection in Norwegian salmon stocks. In Salmon at the Edge. Edited by D. Mills. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, UK. pp. 136–137.
Butler, J.R.A. (2002). Wild salmonids and sea louse infestations on the west coast of Scotland: sources of infection and implications for the management of marine salmon farms. Pest Management Science, 595-608.
Edwards, R. (1998). Infested waters. New Scientist 2141, 4 July.
Birkeland, K. & Jacobsen, P.J. (1997). Salmon lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, infestation as a causal agent of premature return to rivers and estuaries by sea trout, Salmo trutta, juveniles. Environmental Biology of Fishes 49, 129-137.
Despite escalating sea lice, infectious disease and chemical resistance problems, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is gearing up to remove biomass limits on salmon farming production across Scotland.
Read more in The Sunday Herald: "Plans to scrap fish farm limits slammed" (8 January)
In a submission to the Scottish Parliament in November 2016, SEPA admitted that the 'Depositional Zone Regulation' "puts responsibility for day-to-day management of sites into the hands of responsible fish farmers and ensures that at the correct locations, the regulatory framework more closely matches the growth agenda pursued by the industry by removing imposition of a limit on biomass, and enabling operators to increase biomass where environmental monitoring demonstrates that the location is able to cope" .
"Lifting the limits is sheer lunacy," said Don Staniford of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture. "The salmon farming industry is already dealing with escalating sea lice infestation, chemical resistance and disease problems. Removing what few controls there are in favour of unrestricted expansion is a recipe for ruin. Salmon farms, even at current capacity, are causing widespread benthic impacts with dead zones under cages. Increasing production will effectively wipe out whole swathes of the sea-bed. This is Scotland's very own 'Silent Spring of the Sea'."
In October 2016, the industry unveiled plans to double aquaculture production by 2030 (read more via "Aquaculture Growth to 2030"). Whilst Scotland is set to lift biomass limits, Norway has a strict cap on production with a maximum allowable biomass per licence of 780 tons (except in Troms and Finnmark where it is 900 tons) .
"Like a watchdog without bark or bite, SEPA is bending over backwards to accommodate the relentless expansion of salmon farming," continued Staniford. "SEPA is cravenly kowtowing to the Scottish Government's reckless plan to double aquaculture by 2030. The answer to the industry's growing problems is blowing in the wind - decrease not increase production. Yet SEPA is deaf, blind and dumb to environmental concerns."
In Scotland, there are many sites with a maximum biomass limit of 2,500 tonnes with an industry average of 1,159 tonnes. Even with such high biomass limits there have been significant breaches of biomass limits:
In fact, since 2002 there have been over 858 biomass exceedances totalling 74,284 tonnes with Marine Harvest alone accounting for 24,539 tonnes of exceedances:
Download an Excel spreadsheet of data obtained from SEPA online here
The news comes in the wake of revelations that the use of toxic chemicals on salmon farms in Scotland increased ten-fold over the last decade:
Notes to Editors:
 A submission by SEPA to the Scottish Parliament in November 2016 - available online here - included:
The Deposition Zone Regulation initiative for aquaculture was also cited in SEPA's Annual Operating Plan 2016-2017 issued on 1 April 2016:
 From the Norwegian Government's web-page "Licence Requirements in Aquaculture":
"The maximum allowable biomass per licence is 780 tons, except in the counties of Troms and Finnmark where the maximum allowable biomass per licence is 900 tons. There are also biomass limitations on the individual production sites. The biomass limitation varies from site to site and is determined by the carrying capacity of the site."
Download FOI data from SEPA on fish farm compliance (2011-2015) - online here
Download PDF online here
The Sunday Herald reported (8 January 2017):
Read more via:
This is not the first time Scotland's environment watchdog has been caught out defending the salmon farming industry instead of the environment.
In 2009, Rob Edwards revealed that SEPA had fast-tracked the use of the toxic chemical Deltamethrin prompting Marine Harvest to offer SEPA officials a reward of "some sides of smoked salmon" (read more via "Company says sorry for offering environment officials free salmon": 10 February 2009).
In 2013, Rob Edwards revealed that SEPA "bowed to pressure from the salmon farming industry to keep the number of fish killed by diseases secret" (read more via "Scottish watchdog labelled ‘lapdog’ after agreeing to keep fish farm deaths secret" and "Public denied info on full scale of salmon deaths" in The Sunday Herald: 20 October 2013).
Here's letters in reply to the Sunday Herald article:
Here's a letter from John Stone following up the article - "Scottish salmon farming ‘fighting a losing battle’ against sea lice" - published in the Press & Journal (2 January 2017):
Read more via:
BBC Radio's Farming Today show featured the issue of toxic chemicals used on Scottish salmon farms - listen now online (starts at 9 minutes 24 seconds):
Read more via:
The Press & Journal reported (2 January 2017):
Here's the newspaper version (download as a PDF online here):
Intrafish also reported (3 January 2017):
Undercurrent News reported (3 January 2017):
Read more via:
The Times reported (2 January 2017):
Read more via:
Download a FOI reply (December 2016) from the Food Standards Agency on listeria contamination in farmed salmon online here
A scientific paper published in the Journal Food Control in 2014 reported:
Food Safety News reported in 2013:
The Sunday Times reported in 2013:
The Sunday Times reported in 2004:
Another article published in The Sunday Times in 2004 reported:
The Sunday Herald reported in 2003:
Read more on the health risks of farmed salmon via:
Download press release and media backgrounder as a PDF online here
Ten-fold Increase in Toxic Chemical Use in Ten Years!
Exclusive data obtained from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) reveals that the use of toxic chemicals on Scottish salmon farms is now ten times higher than a decade ago. Fifteen years of data (2002-2016) obtained via Freedom of Information (FOI) by the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA) reveals that nearly 4,000 kg of Azamethiphos, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Emamectin benzoate and Teflubenzuron has been used on Scottish farmed salmon in over 8,400 separate chemical treatments since 2002.
Read more via The Sunday Times: "Salmon industry toxins soar by 1000 per cent" (1 January 2017)
The SEPA data (submitted monthly by salmon farmers) also reveals that Scottish salmon's annual 'mort mountain' now stands at a staggering 20,000 tonnes of dead farmed salmon (an estimated 10 million dead farmed salmon per year) with a mortality rate during the seawater phase alone of nearly a quarter. Since 2002 a total of 164,412 tonnes of dead farmed salmon (equivalent to Scotland's salmon farming production in 2013) has occurred on disease-ridden Scottish salmon farms .
According to the data (published monthly via Scotland's Aquaculture but never collated before), the use of the toxic organophosphate Azamethiphos has increased yearly since 2013 and is set to leap to an estimated 400 kg in 2016 (the worst year on record). The use of marine pollutant Emamectin benzoate increased six-fold between 2002 and 2015 whilst the use of Cypermethrin ceased in 2012 (as Deltamethrin took over due to resistance concerns) and the use of Teflubenzuron ceased in 2014 (due to toxicity concerns).
"Scottish salmon farming has lost the chemicals arms race and is fighting a losing battle against chemically resistant sea lice," said Don Staniford of The Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture. "The drugs don't work anymore so farmers are having to use more and more toxic chemicals - including the deadly organophosphate Azamethiphos. Sadly, Scotland's lobsters and other shellfish are collateral damage in the salmon farming industry's war on sea lice. The chemically embalmed salmon farming industry is Scotland's Silent Spring of the Sea. To save Scotland's shellfish and wild fish the public must boycott cheap and nasty toxic Scottish salmon."
The data obtained from SEPA in December 2016 (made available as a 7MB Excel spreadsheet with over 54,000 lines of data entries - download summary online here) reveals that:
- 467 kg of Azamethiphos, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Emamectin benzoate and Teflubenzuron is expected to be used in 2016 compared to 45 kg in 2006 (39 kg was used in 2005 compared to 367 kg in 2015)
- In the last decade (2006-2016), whilst salmon farming production increased only 35% (up from 131,847 tonnes in 2006 to 177,857 tonnes in 2016) the use of toxic chemicals increased a whopping 932%
- Since 2002, a staggering 3,990 kg of Azamethiphos, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Emamectin benzoate and Teflubenzuron has been used on Scottish salmon farms (Azamethiphos accounted for 2,036 kg representing 51%; Teflubenzuron accounting for 920 kg representing 23%; Emamectin benzoate accounting for 792 kg representing 20%; Deltamethrin accounting for 125 kg representing 3%; and Cypermethrin accounting for 118 kg representing 3%)
- Since 2002, Scottish farmed salmon has been subjected to a total of 8,416 separate chemical treatments (with Emamectin benzoate responsible for 3,831; Deltamethrin responsible for 1901; Cypermethrin responsible for 1330; Azamethiphos responsible for 1313 and Teflubenzuron responsible for 41)
- Scottish salmon's 'mort mountain' now stands at a staggering 20,000 tonnes during 2016 (an estimated 10 million dead farmed salmon per year) with a mortality rate during the seawater phase alone of nearly a quarter (24%)
- Since 2002, a total of 164,412 tonnes of dead farmed salmon (equivalent to Scotland's salmon farming production in 2013) has occurred on Scottish salmon farms
- 2016 chemical use is set to be the 3rd worst year on record with only 2012 (513kg) and 2013 (487kg) using more Azamethiphos, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Teflubenzuron and Emamectin benzoate
- Since 2002, Marine Harvest has used the most Azamethiphos (700 kg), Cypermethrin (38 kg), Deltamethrin (63 kg) and Emamectin benzoate (289 kg) and is responsible for the most mortalities (43,802 tonnes) whilst Scottish Sea Farms has used the most Teflubenzuron (334 kg)
- The sites using the most of each toxic chemical in a single treatment are:
Azamethiphos (Marine Harvest: Ardintoul in Loch Alsh in December 2015)
Cypermethrin (The Scottish Salmon Company: Vacasay in Loch Roag in March 2008)
Deltamethrin (Marine Harvest: Sron in Loch Alsh in March 2016)
Emamectin benzoate (Scottish Sea Farms in Vidlin North in Vidlin Voe in December 2011)
Teflubenzuron (Scottish Sea Farms in Teisti Geo in Clift Sound in May 2013)
- The use of the toxic organophosphate Azamethiphos now dwarfs other chemicals (Azamethiphos represented 85% of all the chemicals used in 2016)
- Azamethiphos use has increased from zero in 2005 to 282 kg in 2015 with 2016 predicted to be to worst on record with an estimated 400 kg used
- Emamectin benzoate use increased six-fold between 2002 and 2015 (12 kg in 2002 compared to 71 kg in 2015)
- Deltamethrin use increased from zero in 2007 to 3 kg in 2008 followed by a seven-fold increase to 21 kg in 2012 (estimated use in 2016 is 11 kg)
- Salmon farming companies exceeded SEPA biomass limits 858 times since 2002 racking up 74,284 tonnes of overproduction (Marine Harvest was the biggest culprit accounting for 249 biomass exceedances representing 24,539 tonnes of overproduction closely followed by The Scottish Salmon Company with 245 biomass exceedances representing 17,301 tonnes of overproduction)
- The most mortalities (641 tonnes) occurred at Grieg Seafood's Cole Deep salmon farm in Gon Firth, Shetland, in December 2015 followed by Cooke Aquaculture's Pegal Bay salmon farm (565 tonnes) in Scapa Flow, Orkney, in February 2010.
Download a summary of the data obtained by GAAIA from SEPA via FOI on 9 December 2016 - including graphs and tables - online here (6MB Excel Spreadsheet)
Today (1 January 2017), GAAIA wrote to both OSPAR and the Scottish Government calling for drastic reductions in the use of toxic chemicals on Scottish salmon farms - including an immediate ban on the use of Azamethiphos, Deltamethrin and Emamectin benzoate.
In 2006, the UK Government stopped reporting chemical use to the OSPAR Commission: “OSPAR 2006 agreed that, for the time being, implementation reporting on PARCOM Recommendation 94/6 could cease for all Contracting Parties, but that if there were significant developments in the aquaculture industry in the future, the need for implementation reporting should be revisited”.
In 2012, GAAIA filed a complaint to OSPAR regarding the UK's failure to adhere to PARCOM Recommendation 94/6 on Best Environmental Practice for the Reduction of Inputs of Potentially Toxic Chemicals from Aquaculture Use (read GAAIA's letter to OSPAR online here and letter to SEPA online here).
"Scottish salmon is addicted to a dangerous cocktail of toxic chemicals," concluded Staniford, author of 'Silent Spring of the Sea'. "Toxic salmon should carry a Government health warning rather than being marketed as healthy food. If you make one New Year's resolution for 2017 then give Scottish salmon a very wide berth indeed. Scottish salmon is pharmed and dangerous."
Read more via a Scientific Backgrounder  and Media Backgrounder  online here
Download press release, media backgrounder and scientific backgrounder in full online here
Download data on Hydrogen Peroxide use (2002-2015) online here
Download data on the "Filthy Five" (2002-2016) online here
The Sunday Times reported (1 January 2017):
Download newspaper version online here