Ministers face legal challenge over failing salmon farms
Scottish ministers have been ordered to reveal the names of those salmon farms whose fish have the highest levels of sea lice infection.
The Scottish information commissioner recently published a formal decision notice stating that ministers “incorrectly withheld” information naming which farms had breached Scottish Government levels for the numbers of adult female sea lice on farmed salmon.
The decision came following two referrals to the commissioner by Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) Scotland, which had sought to find out which farms exceeded these levels.
Guy Linley-adams, solicitor for S&TC Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the commissioner has made it so plain to Scottish ministers that they cannot lawfully continue to shield the Scottish salmon farming industry from public scrutiny.
“For years, we have been arguing that farmspecific sea lice information should be made publicly available. It is to Scottish ministers’ shame that it took a formal legal referral from a conservation charity to make them recognise the obvious legitimate public interest in identifying poorly run, poorly managed fish farms.”
The charity says that it will publish the list of Scotland’s “liciest” salmon farms as soon as it has it and will ask supermarkets to stop selling salmon from those farms.
A full inquiry into Scottish salmon farming is expected to take place next year.
SHOOTING TIMES & COUNTRY MAGAZINE • 5
This salmon is showing signs of sea lice infection above the anal fin