Friday 21 June 2019

Scotland to allow supersized salmon-farms if they pass pollution tests

New policy expected to see larger farms created in deeper water further off Scottish coast
Severin CarrellScotland editor
Wed 5 Jun 2019 16.52 BSTLast modified on Wed 5 Jun 2019 17.08 BST
Scottish salmon farmers will be allowed to create supersized farms in return for accepting much stricter controls on parasites and marine pollution.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has said it will no longer restrict the size of salmon farms as long as they meet tougher standards limiting chemical, faecal and organic waste pollution in surrounding seas.
Scottish ministers have also unveiled much stricter legal limits on the level of sea lice allowed on farmed fish, amid mounting anger about plagues of sea lice, a parasite that eats fish alive, killing wild Atlantic salmon.
The new measures are expected to see much larger farms placed in deeper water further off the Scottish coast, in part to replace smaller inshore fish farms that may be forced to move because of the tougher pollution tests.
At present fish farms have a ceiling of 2,500 tonnes of fish per site. That will no longer apply, but larger firms will only be authorised in areas that are more “exposed, more remote, deep-water locations with strong tides”, said Sepa.
Deeper open seas should lead to their waste – medicines and chemicals used to control disease and lice, fish faeces, and uneaten food – being much more quickly dispersed and less likely to pollute the seabed. However, deep sea sites are at much greater risk of storm damage and of bad weather preventing visits by fish farm workers.

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