Min­is­ters face le­gal chal­lenge over fail­ing salmon farms

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

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.


This salmon is show­ing signs of sea lice in­fec­tion above the anal fin

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