Sea lice threat

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Dr Martin Jaffa, the “consultant aquaculturist” from Manchester (Letters, 5 July), attacks the Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) for highlighting the plight of juvenile sea trout in Wester Ross infested with hundreds of lethally parasitic sea lice emanating from salmon farms.

Dr Jaffa argues that the real problem is anglers killing sea trout, citing the rod catch for Scotland as a whole.

What he fails to realise is that, according to the official statistics on which he relies, in Wester Ross itself (to which this story related) fewer than ten adult sea trout were killed by anglers in 2011 (the most recent year for which a detailed breakdown is available).

Strict conservation policies for anglers are in operation in Wester Ross rivers, given that mature sea trout are now so scarce.

Indeed, very few juvenile sea trout are able to survive and 
become adult fish because of 
the sea lice situation (leading to the fish’s premature death) that we consistently and justifiably expose.

Dr Jaffa’s highly selective and disingenuous use of statistics gets us nowhere.

Indeed it is sad that he and the salmon farming industry he seems to represent are simply incapable of acknowledging that some salmon farms have a truly dismal environmental record, with devastating consequences for wild fish.

Both he and the industry remain in blanket “head in the sands” denial mode.

Andrew Graham-Stewart

Salmon and Trout 
Association (Scotland)

Bonar Bridge