Scottish Greens have called for existing salmon farms to be reviewed under new regulations announced this week, which are designed to address the industry’s widespread environmental failures.
Fisheries Minister Fergus Ewing today updated the Scottish Parliament on the new regulatory framework adopted by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), but Mark Ruskell MSP, the Scottish Greens environmental spokesperson, said new modelling to determine where it is safe to locate new sites should also be applied to existing fish farms.
Mr Ruskell highlighted the widespread practice of farms being approved under two or more licenses, when they are in fact operating as a single farm, which can give a false impression of the cumulative environmental impact of fish farms.
Mark Ruskell MSP said:
“People are rightly upset and angry after shocking revelations of the appalling conditions in many of our salmon farms and there are real fears that the industry’s plans to double annual production will cause needless suffering to millions of fish.
“The new steps outlined by SEPA are welcome but they do not address the whole picture. MSPs have already told the Government that the status quo is not an option and further urgent action is needed in particular to guarantee animal welfare standards. Fergus Ewing had a chance today to defend Scotland’s reputation for good food and a clean environment by backing my calls for a full review of existing sites using the new environmental modelling, so it’s disappointing he’s still on the side of cajoling rather than compelling the industry to clean up its act.”