Campaigners protest with dead fish to highlight ‘tragedy’ of salmon industry

Campaigners have held a protest outside the Scottish Parliament blindfolded and gagged with dead fish to highlight the “environmental tragedy” of salmon fishing.

The Ocean Rebellion activists staged the action in the pools outside Holyrood, carrying briefcases with “War on wild fish”, “farmed salmon” and “dirty money” emblazoned on them, in a bid to highlight the “deliberate blindness” of the Scottish Government.

Dressed in pinstripe suits, campaigners also made a last minute plea to SNP conference delegates and leaders to end the “war” on wild fish.

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Caitlin Macleod, from Ocean Rebellion, said the Scottish Government’s approach to the coastline and sea life is an “ecological disaster”.

Suited performers from Ocean Rebellion, wearing blindfolds and gagged with dead fish, protest at Holyrood Pond, outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, calling on Scottish Government to wind down the environmental tragedy of salmon farming with a just transition for workers. Picture date: Friday October 7, 2022.

She added: “It has ignored the Scottish Parliament which formally called for a halt to expansion until the problems are addressed, and at the demand of its cronies in offshore companies, is planning to double the size of the disgusting salmon industry within eight years.

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“We need a revolution in Scottish marine politics, with protection and participation replacing Scottish Government-sponsored corporate pillage.”

Ocean Rebellion says the Scottish Parliament had demanded that “urgent and meaningful action” should be taken to address problems with regulations as well as fish health and environmental issues before the industry can expand, and accused the Government of refusing to act on the warnings.

Suited performers from Ocean Rebellion, wearing blindfolds and gagged with dead fish, protest at Holyrood Pond, outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, calling on Scottish Government to wind down the environmental tragedy of salmon farming with a just transition for workers. Picture date: Friday October 7, 2022.

The group has called for a halt to caged salmon fishing in Scotland.

The group claim whales, dolphins and porpoises are “unlawfully” disturbed with submarine smoke alarms designed to startle seals, and the salmon industry dumps harmful chemicals into Scotland’s marine environment.

Ocean Rebellion’s Roc Sandford said: “Scotland is a beautiful, proud country. Our destruction of the environmental heritage on which so many of our jobs depend will ruin this for future generations.

“I don’t want to see more dead zones caused by salmon farming – it’s time to throw these profiteering corporations out of our magnificent waters.”

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The Scottish Government has been asked for comment.