Campaigners question ‘sustainable salmon’ claims

Mowi Loch Erisort

Two campaign groups are calling on the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to take action over the industry body Salmon Scotland’s use of the word “sustainable”.

The two organisations, WildFish and Coastal Communities Network Scotland (CCN), say they have submitted a detailed dossier and complaint to the CMA.

The complaint details the extensive use of the term ‘sustainable’ by Salmon Scotland in its recent communications, as well as the environmental, welfare and sustainability issues which WildFish and CCN say cast doubt on this claim, including negative impacts on wild salmon, high mortality rates on farms, pollution and the use of marine ingredients from “unsustainable” fisheries.

Rachel Mulrenan, Scotland Director at WildFish, said: “As the CMA recognises, in the minds of consumers a ‘sustainable’ product is one which has a positive environmental impact, or at least no adverse impact. As our complaint makes clear, the Scottish salmon farming industry can make no such claim – from the unsustainable use of wild fish to feed farmed salmon, to the dispersal of toxic chemicals into Scottish sea lochs, to the negative impact on protected species such as wild Atlantic salmon, this is an inherently unsustainable industry producing an unsustainable product.”

John Aitchison, spokesperson for CCN, said: “Many Scottish coastal communities have realised how much harm salmon farming can do… to call any of this behaviour ‘sustainable’ is unacceptable.”

Salmon Scotland emphatically rejects the grounds of the complaint. A spokesman commented: “We have been in touch with the CMA who tell us they have yet to receive anything from these groups. This is simply the latest stunt from two anti-salmon organisations that are campaigning to ban the Scottish salmon sector, which would wipe out thousands of jobs, decimate coastal communities and jeopardise sustainable economic growth for Scotland.”


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