Fish farmers off the hook again, says Salmon Farm Protest Group –

Fish farmers off the hook again, says Salmon Farm Protest Group Published:  06 July, 2006

THE Scottish Executive’s Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill ignores calls for the creation of an independent watchdog to oversee the activities of this substantially Norwegian-owned industry, the Salmon Farm Protest Group (SFPG) are claiming.

SFPG chairman Bruce Sandison said, “After months of now seemingly pointless consultation it is business as usual for this environmentally disastrous industry. The fish farmers are to be allowed to continue regulating themselves through a voluntary ‘Code of Good Practice’.”

But Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation chief executive Sid Patten commented: “We are confident that our robust and independently audited Code of Good Practice is the most flexible and cost effective means of achieving a sustainable aquaculture industry…such commitment to high standards is the way to secure employment and investment opportunities in the Highlands and Islands and throughout Scotland.”

However,the SFPG say they want to highlight alleged wrong doings by fish farmers and say these are recent examples of the fish farmer’s ‘robust code of good practice’ in action:

These include:

· Public outrage over Marine Harvest shooting seals at Kyle of Lochalsh

· Marine Harvest fish farm manager charged for killing a trapped seabird

· Mainstream Scotland inflicting light and noise pollution in Rousay, Orkney by floodlighting a farm for six months, powered by a 24/7 generator

· Escapes, the latest being upwards of 30,000 fish from an Orkney farm

· Angus MacMillan, littering South Uist with his abandoned fish farm debris

· Shell fish from Loch Roag in the Outer Hebrides, the most intensively farmed loch in Europe, declared a danger to human health

· Marine Harvest identified as one of Scotland’s top 10 polluters

· Marine Harvest burying dead fish in an Environmentally Sensitive Area of machair land on the Island of North Uist

· Escaped rainbow trout infecting Loch Etive and the River Awe

· 1,500 fish farm jobs lost in the Highlands and Islands and throughout Scotland is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.