- Hydrogen Peroxide use leaps from 19,000 litres in 2005 to 19m litres in 2015
[Download press release in full as a PDF online here]
Explosive new data from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) reveals a staggering increase in the use of a "corrosive" chemical on Scottish salmon farms. Data obtained by the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA) via Freedom of Information (FOI) reveals that the use of Hydrogen Peroxide shot up from 19,200 litres in 2005 to 19.6 million litres in 2015 (an increase of 101,801%) as chemical resistance cripples the Scottish salmon farming industry.
Read more via today's Sunday Times: "Record chemical use ‘of concern’ to salmon giant"
The exclusive data reveals that Scottish salmon farming's use of Hydrogen Peroxide - used as a propellant in torpedoes and rockets - has exploded since 2009 when not a single drop was used. Hydrogen Peroxide use rapidly rose to 2.4 million litres in 2012, then to 6.8 million litres in 2013 and 9.1 million litres in 2014.
Photo: Hydrogen Peroxide trucks at a transport depot in North Uist, Outer Hebrides
In 2015, a total of 162 salmon farms reported the use of Hydrogen Peroxide with Marine Harvest by far the biggest user at 8.4 million litres followed by the Scottish Salmon Company at 4 million litres and Grieg Seafood at 3.1 million litres. The number of salmon farms in Scotland using Hydrogen Peroxide rose from zero in 2009 to 10 in 2010, 24 in 2011, 94 in 2012, 155 in 2013 and 131 in 2014.
Photo: Vats of Hydrogen Peroxide loaded up in Ullapool waiting to be loaded onto the ferry to the Outer Hebrides
Here's the top 20 salmon farms using Hydrogen Peroxide in 2015 - including over 1 million litres at one lice-infested Marine Harvest salmon farm in Loch Torridon:
Download the SEPA data (2002-2015) as an Excel spreadsheet online here
"The Scottish salmon farming industry's use of toxic chemicals is exploding due to sea lice resistance," said Don Staniford, Director of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture. "Put simply, the drugs don't work. There's more than enough rocket propellant being pumped into Scottish waters to propel this corrosive industry back to Norway. Consumers can blow this toxic industry out of the water by boycotting Scottish salmon".
Current annual usage of Hydrogen Peroxide (19.6 million litres in 2015) is enough to fill up 8 Olympic swimming pools. It is little wonder then that sea lice are now becoming resistant. A scientific paper published in February 2017 reported:
"Resistance towards delousing agents including hydrogen peroxide is becoming a problem for salmon lice control...... In an attempt to combat resistant salmon lice, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has become increasingly used in salmon lice bath treatments. Resistance towards H2O2 has however also been detected in both Scottish and Norwegian salmon lice."
Tankers carrying hundreds of litres of the toxic chemical - marked "corrosive" - are now a regular sight across Scotland. Here's a tanker marked "corrosive" Hydrogen Peroxide parked in Ullapool, Wester Ross:
Hydrogen Peroxide is used on salmon farms to kill sea lice and treat Amoebic Gill Disease but it is better known for its use as a propellant in torpedoes and rockets, as a bleaching agent in the textile, pulp and paper industries and as a hair dye (as in 'peroxide blonde'). Hydrogen Peroxide has been used for creating explosives and has been used in attacks including the 2005 London bombings.
According to a safety data sheet published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014, Hydrogen Peroxide is classified as "corrosive", an "oxidizer" and an "environmental hazard":
The safety data sheet for Paramove (one of the Hydrogen Peroxide trade products used by the salmon farming industry) includes:
Here's vats of Hydrogen Peroxide in North Uist, Outer Hebrides:
Here's an empty vat of Hydrogen Peroxide outside a Marine Harvest salmon farm in North Uist, Outer Hebrides:
Last month, The Sunday Times revealed a ten-fold increase in the use of the toxic chemicals Azamethiphos, Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Emamectin benzoate and Teflubenzuron on Scottish salmon farms.
"Chemically embalmed Scottish salmon leaves a bad taste in the mouth," concluded Staniford. "I'd rather drink a bottle of bleach than eat Scottish farmed salmon. Scottish salmon is now so addicted to chemicals that is should come with a Government health warning. Mass mortalities due to chemical treatments is also creating a fish welfare disaster".
Mass mortalities due to Hydrogen Peroxide are piling up at salmon farming's door - the deaths include:
126,225 farmed salmon in Norway in 2016 "likely due to the fish being overexposed to hydrogen peroxide" (reported by Norway Today)
80,000 farmed salmon in Norway in 2016 "after delousing them with hydrogen peroxide" (reported by Intrafish)
60,000 farmed salmon "killed by hydrogen peroxide being used to treat them for amoebic gill disease at Marine Harvest’s fish farm in Soay Sound, off the Isle of Harris" in 2016 (reported by Daily Telegraph, The Ferret and GAAIA).
Here's the 'Mortality Event Report' obtained by GAAIA from the Scottish Government via FOI:
17,000 farmed salmon (70 metric tons) died "while using hydrogen peroxide" in Norway in 2015 (reported by Intrafish)
A report - "In Too Deep: The Welfare of Intensively Farmed Fish" - published by Compassion In World Farming in 2002 included:
The report concluded:
The Sunday Times reported today:
In 2001, Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) warned that hydrogen peroxide posed “serious animal welfare drawbacks”. Philip Lymbery, the chief executive of CIWF, said: “We have long condemned the use of this chemical because it is known to cause suffering to farmed fish.”
The University of Bergen reported in 2015:
"Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has been used against skin parasites and bacterial gill infections in salmonids. Harsh treatment using H2O2 might cause an adverse impact to the fish innate immunity leaving it so traumatized that it takes a long time for the fish to return to the normal state."
According to a report by the University of Florida:
"Several species of fish are known to be sensitive to hydrogen peroxide, and the use of the chemical may be toxic to those species".
Read more about the welfare and environmental impacts of Hydrogen Peroxide use via a Media Backgrounder - online here
Read more via:
- The Sunday Times: "Record chemical use ‘of concern’ to salmon giant"
- Press & Journal: "Scottish salmon farming ‘fighting a losing battle’ against sea lice"
- The Times: "Toxic war on salmon lice soars 1,000%"
- Press Release: Scottish Salmon's Lethal Legacy
- The Sunday Times: "Salmon industry toxins soar by 1000 per cent"
Read data from SEPA on antibiotic use on Scottish salmon farms (2002-2015) online here
Read data from the VMD on antibiotic sales (1994-2012) online here