Letter: Salmon farmers miss the point

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THE Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation’s outspoken reaction to possible measures in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill (News, 18 March) completely misses the point about the implications and consequences of fish-farming in the open ocean.

The salmon farmers are essentially saying, “Leave us alone to operate within our farms as we see fit”.

Such a position would be reasonable and to some extent logical if they kept the farmed fish, the sea lice and the waste within the cages or at least under control, but they do not. Consequently their commercial activities have severely negative consequences for the “public” wider environment including fish escapes, the impact on wild juvenile salmon and sea trout degrading of the seabed and so on.

Marine Scotland and Scottish Government have legal responsibilities to protect the wider environment and ensure sustainable development. No other comparable food production industry has such an adverse effect on the wider environment as salmon farming – and that is why it urgently needs credible regulation.

John Mackenzie, Beauly