UPDATE: Inquiry into the Environmental Impact of Salmon Farming
Following the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)/Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) desktop report, COAST and many others have responded in writing to the call for evidence by the Environment Climate Change & Land Reform Committee (ECCLRC) into the environmental impacts of salmon farming in Scotland
All submissions of evidence which have so far been approved for publication by the clerk to the Committee are available for download here.
Several of the MSPs on the Committee asked insightful questions to invited panel members, which included John Aitchison, Planet Earth II filmmaker and writer, who is also a member of the Friends of the Sound of Jura and the Salmon Aquaculture Reform network Scotland (SARNS) https://salmonaquaculturescotland.wordpress.com/. John’s answers were extremely well informed and it is worth dipping into the Committee sessions on that day to get a flavour of the questions and answers.
The ECCLRC will now report to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee (RECC) to inform their own inquiry into the farmed salmon sector explained in this video and on their website which has the stated remit ‘To consider the current state of salmon industry in Scotland, identify opportunities for its future development and explore how the various fish health and environmental challenges it currently faces can be addressed.’ The Call for Evidence can be downloaded here.
The timetable now goes forward as follows (other items may be added by the Committees):
8 February 2018 RECC open call for written views and evidence
28 February 2018 ECCLRC consider their draft report to the RECC.
W/C 5 March 2018 ECCLR Committee Send their report to the RECC
27 April 2018 RECC close call for written views and evidence
Unknown date Final Report and Policy Statement from RECC
If you are concerned about the environmental effects of open cage salmon farming please respond to the call for views once the ECCLR have submitted their report to the RECC and please sign the SARNS petition ‘Time to clean up Scotland’s Salmon farming industry’ here and now:
Stop salmon farm expansion in Lamlash Bay
Following strong community opposition, in December 2016 Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham called in an application of the Scottish Salmon Company to increase its production of salmon by 60% in Lamlash Bay, next to our community marine reserve and within the recently enforced South Arran Marine Protected Area. After withdrawing this application (Read COASTs August 2017 Newsletter) they are now intending to apply for a much larger expansion, doubling their production.
Our community is determined to stop further pollution in our bay and the risks this expansion poses to our livelihoods and precious environment. As a first step, the company now needs to apply for planning permission to North Ayrshire Council, consult the public and produce an Environmental Impact Assesment.
Please let the council know this process needs to be widely publicised and share your concerns with our political representatives (see Take Action). Together we can stop the expansion of this destructive form of aquaculture in Scotland's West Coast.
Caged salmon farming in the media in 2017
News stories in the Guardian, Financial Times, Telegraph, Herald Scotland, BBC, Scotsman covering Scotland's Salmon Farming Industry in 2017
Arran Seas not for Sale
Check out our leaflet, where we explain why we are opposing the Scottish Salmon Company's plans to double their production of caged farmed salmon in Lamlash Bay, within the South Arran MPA.
Farmed Salmon: Superfood?
The chemical residues in farmed salmon, which reach our supermarket shelves, and enter our childrens’ bodies, are not monitored by the supermarkets or the Food Standards Agency but through a miniscule number of samples taken by the UK Government Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), under EU legislation. Of the c.23 million salmon produced in Scotland in 2016 only 91, yes 91, samples of muscle and skin were tested for residues of the same pesticide which is fed to the salmon in Lamlash Bay. We understand that no exclusive samples of fatty tissue are analysed, which is of course where higher concentrations of accumulated chemicals will reside.
Through a freedom of information request it became clear that of the 91 samples taken that 3 samples exceeded pesticide limits and those 3 samples were all taken from Scottish Salmon Company salmon, which had been overdosed through an error in their biomass measurements.
The only action taken by the VMD was that the SSC was given written advice on the responsible use of veterinary medicines. This woefully inadequate sample size will only be giving us a glimpse of the problem and indicates that at least hundreds of thousands of salmon with neurotoxin residues, which exceed allowable limits, have entered our supermarkets and our bodies.
There is no precautionary principle being applied here by the industry or by our authorities as the sea lice become more and more resistant and higher and higher doses of neurotoxin pesticides are required.