Funding marketing programmes for meaningless ‘quality’ marks with no environmental or animal welfare standards is not the way forward.Mark Ruskell MSP
Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (16 March) hit out at the fish farming industry over a “meaningless” labelling scheme as the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation holds a reception in Edinburgh.
Mr Ruskell will today speak alongside the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, Compassion in World Farming, and the Save our Seals Fund, who have jointly raised concerns about public funding for the Label Rouge accreditation scheme, which they say has no environmental or animal welfare standards.
“We know how important aquaculture is to the economies of some of Scotland’s most remote and rural communities, which makes it all the more important that we are investing in research and best practice to make sure the industry has an environmentally and economically sustainable future.
“Driving ever more intensive production and failing to properly monitor and regulate pollution levels is putting the industry itself at risk. In just two incidents last year 175,000 fish were killed whilst trying to treat them for sea lice, and recently it has emerged that salmon exports to the United States could be banned due to our record of routinely culling seals.
“The rest of the world is starting to wake up to the need to dramatically improve welfare and environmental standards in our fish farms, and this needs to be the priority of both the industry and the Scottish Government. Funding marketing programmes for meaningless ‘quality’ marks with no environmental or animal welfare standards is not the way forward.”