Majority of salmon farms environmentally ‘excellent’

Salmon farmers in Scotland scored their best ever environmental performance

SOME 87 per cent of Scotland’s salmon farms have been rated environmentally ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ by regulators, new statistics show.

Farmers achieved their best ever environmental performance in 2018, according to figures collected for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA’s) Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS).

The scheme is used by SEPA to monitor performance across a range of industries and sectors. The compliance figures for all sectors are being published today.

The results have been welcomed by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) as ‘demonstrating the sector’s commitment to robust environmental standards’.

SEPA assessed the performance of 296 farms in 2018, which showed a 38 per cent increase in the number of farms achieving an ‘excellent’ rating (183 farms) and a 10 per cent increase in the number of farms achieving ‘good’ (74) compared to 2017.

Overall, 258 out of the 296 farms were compliant. The number of sites rated ‘poor’ dropped by 32 per cent to 38 farms.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), said: ‘These statistics are very good news for Scottish salmon farming.

‘They represent the significant and ongoing effort and investment to improve environmental performance and I’m delighted that this continued focus on environmental stewardship is delivering positive results.

‘As a sector, we fully recognise that a strong environmental performance is key to successful salmon farming and we want to demonstrate publicly our commitment to responsible performance.

‘These results are an excellent endorsement of that effort and success. Companies are keen to build on this positive trend.’