19 April, 2017 - 15:22

The choice is clear: either the Scottish Government does the responsible thing and bins the laws that allow the killing of seals in Scotland by fish farm operators and fishermen, or it lobbies Trump’s administration to weaken US environmental laws that protect marine mammals. Mark Ruskell MSP

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (19 April) challenged Scottish Ministers over a looming export ban on farmed fish which could cost the Scottish economy £200million a year.

The United States now requires proof that seafood imports are harvested in a way that minimises harm to marine mammals including seals.

Official figures show that fish farms in Scotland have been shooting seven or eight seals a month.

Today, during Questions at Holyrood, Mark Ruskell raised the issue with Environment Secretary Roseannah Cunningham, who confirmed that the industry has until 2022 to comply.

Mark said:

“The Scottish Government has irresponsibly allowed a US import ban on Scottish fisheries to be set in train that could cost over £200m a year to the farmed salmon sector alone. The choice is clear: either the Scottish Government does the responsible thing and bins the laws that allow the killing of seals in Scotland by fish farm operators and fishermen, or it lobbies Trump’s administration to weaken US environmental laws that protect marine mammals.

"The killing of seals is completely unnecessary and most people find it abhorrent that this practice still occurs in the 21st century. It is perfectly possible to prevent seals from attempting to eat farmed fish through deterrents rather than the bullet.”

 

 

 

Scotland's 'trigger-happy' salmon farmers risk losing £200m US export market (Sunday Herald, September 2016)

 

U.S. imposes new seafood import rules to minimize harm to marine mammals (CBC News, April 2017)

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This quote has shone down the decades and even in times of bigger political questions, the needs of the smallest, voiceless creatures provide a reflection of our values and how we carry ourselves.

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