List of “liciest” Scottish salmon farms revealed
Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) Scotland has “named and shamed” those salmon farms whose stock contains the highest levels of sea lice.
As reported last month in Shooting Times (News, 4 October), the Scottish Government was criticised for withholding information about which farms had breached set levels for the numbers of adult female sea lice on farmed salmon. These levels state that three per salmon should trigger a “site-specific escalation plan” to reduce lice numbers, while eight per salmon can lead to action such as an order for early harvest or a cull.
S&TC Scotland has now named Grieg Seafood Shetland as the worstperforming company in the Scottish Islands and overall worst-performing company in Scotland. The worst in the West Highlands was the Scottish Salmon Company, while worst smaller operator was Loch Duart.
Andrew Graham-stewart, director of S&TC Scotland, said: “Many of the individual farms’ sea lice numbers, which have long been hidden within regional aggregated ‘averages’ published by the industry, are far worse than we envisaged. Sea lice numbers on farmed fish across much of the industry are of epidemic proportions.”
Mr Graham-stewart highlighted the example of Furnace Quarry farm in Loch Fyne, run by the Scottish Salmon Company, which was allowed to continue to operate despite adult female lice numbers recorded at 15 to 23 per farmed fish.
High sea lice levels can threaten the survival of migratory salmon