Scotland could scrap biomass limits
BIOMASS limits on Scottish fish farms could be scrapped if proposals by Sepa (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) are approved.
Sepa is due to launch a public consultation in the next few weeks on how it regulates fish farming, according to a recent submission the agency made to the Scottish parliament. This will include plans to drop biomass limits.
The proposals follow the launch of the industry’s vision for growth late last year, which would see the country’s aquaculture sector double production by 2030 and increase its value to the Scottish economy from around £1.8 billion to £3.6 billion.
The plan – published in the Vision 2030 report in October - was backed by the Scottish government, which promised to set up an ‘industry leadership group’.
Sepa said the aim was to ensure that ‘the regulatory framework more closely matches the growth agenda pursued by the industry by removing imposition of a limit on biomass’.
This would enable operators ‘to increase biomass where environmental monitoring demon- strates that the location is able to cope’, and it would put responsibility for day-to-day management of sites into the hands of ‘responsible fish farmers’.
Environmental campaigners, however, say the move would increase disease, worsen pollution and harm wild fish.
Above: Permission to grow