The use of acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) on salmon farms has been effectively banned following an intervention by Environmental Standards Scotland.
The use of the devices, designed to keep seals away from fish farms, can have a devastating effect on cetaceans, such as porpoises, whales, and dolphins.
The ruling means the devices can no longer be used without license, and only by demonstrating that its use would not impact marine wildlife, effectively introducing a ban.
The move comes after a longstanding community and parliamentary campaign to ban ADDs in the sea including Green legislative amendments moved at Holyrood in 2020.
Commenting, Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell said:
“I’m absolutely delighted that the intervention of Environmental Standards Scotland has now led to an effective ban on the use of ADDs.
“We’ve known for some time that these devices can cause significant harm to marine wildlife, and that there are other ways for the industry to protect their farms.
“This decision is the result of long-standing community campaigns and I commend everyone who has been involved in getting us to a place where these devices will no longer be permitted.
“The evidence for a ban has been building in parliament for years. Environmental Standards Scotland have shown with their very first case how effective they can be in responding to public concern, holding government and regulators to account. It’s a great start.
“I’ll be looking now for firm enforcement action from Marine Scotland if salmon farms are using unregulated ADDs. Turning a blind eye to these noise pollution devices is not acceptable or legal.”