Scottish Daily Mail
Salmon farm that won plaudits from Prince failed water inspection
A SALMON farm praised by Prince Charles failed to comply with environment protection measures and lost its accreditation as a ‘best practice’ operator.
Following a site visit to a farm on loch leven in 2016, the Prince said it had ‘set the benchmark for the Scottish fishing industry’.
But it has now emerged that, three months earlier, the Marine harvest facility was rated ‘poor’ by the environment watchdog because it had failed to secure appropriate accreditation, despite a previous warning.
it also lost its Aquaculture Stewardship Council accreditation recognising it as a responsible farm.
Campaigners said the revelation was ‘embarrassing’ for Prince Charles and urged him to remove an entry about the fish farm from his website.
don Staniford, director of the Scottish Salmon Watch campaign group, said: ‘in the latest available assessment for compliance, this fish farm is rated poor and this is embarrassing for Prince Charles as he was standing there in 2016 lauding it and praising it.
‘his website talks about how sustainable it is, yet we now know it was failing.’
Prince Charles visited the loch leven facility in October 2016. An entry on his website states: ‘in 2015 it became the first farm in the uK to be approved by international organisation Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), who set strict guidelines on issues such as environmental impact.’
however, documents released by the Scottish environment Protection Agency (SePA) in response to a freedom of information request show it was one of 51 fish farms which failed to comply with environmental protection measures. it was one of nine facilities owned by norwegian firm Marine harvest on the list.
A SePA document shows that the loch leven farm was rated ‘poor’ during a‘ compliance assess certification ment report’. SePA said a 2017 assessment, which has not yet been published, shows the loch leven site is now compliant.
documents published by the ASC also show the salmon farm’s lapsed in February after a site inspection revealed three ‘major’ and six ‘minor’ non-conformities.
A Clarence house spokesman said: ‘At the time the Prince of Wales visited loch leven fish farm it was certified by the international Aquaculture Stewardship Council as a responsible farm. it is disappointing to hear that is no longer the case.’
ian roberts, of Marine harvest Scotland, said: ‘We aim to comply with all regulations, and where non-compliance is identified, will work with SePA and others to quickly address the issue.’
‘We now know it was failing’