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  1. #1

    Default Gagging of Scottish Government by salmon farmers exposed

    Gagging of Scottish Government by salmon farmers exposed; FOI shows how authorities capitulated after threat of legal action

    A series of Freedom of Information requests on behalf of the Salmon and Trout Association (S&TA) has exposed how the Scottish Government made a policy u-turn in the face of pressure, including the threat of legal action, from the salmon farming industry. In March Marine Scotland informed the industry that it would be publishing details online of certain inspection reports on salmon farms relating in particular to sea lice infestations and fish escapes, carried out under the terms of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act ? given a ruling by the Scottish Information Commissioner that such information should be in the public domain.

    The industry?s trade body, the Scottish Salmon Producers? Organisation (SSPO), responded threatening Marine Scotland with legal action if any company?s business was ?compromised as a consequence. Marine Scotland then announced that it was suspending the publication plan? and reviewing the situation in light of the issues raised by SSPO. In October Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham confirmed that no audits or inspections of fish farms had taken place since March 2010.

    Guy Linley-Adams, the lawyer tasked with spearheading S&TA?s campaign to protect wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout from the negative impacts of aquaculture, commented: ?The threat by the Scottish Salmon Producers? Organisation to bring claims for damages against Marine Scotland over publication of enforcement audits is, in my experience, unprecedented. On the one hand it shows just how confident the salmon growers are of their position in Scotland with respect to central government. On the other it is a clear indication of just how impotent the authorities are in the face of the salmon farmers? bullying tactics.?

    Paul Knight, S&TA CEO, said: ?This saga gives the lie to Scottish Government?s contention that the salmon farming industry is properly and effectively regulated. It now appears that the industry is calling the tune and consequently there must be fundamental questions over the credibility of Scottish Government?s aquaculture policy and, indeed, its commitment to protecting wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout, two of Scotland?s iconic natural resources.?

    Prominent amongst salmon farming companies opposing the publication of inspection reports in March was Loch Duart Ltd, which brands itself as the ?Sustainable Salmon Company?. Loch Duart admitted to an escape of 4,000 farmed salmon from its Loch Laxford site in early November.

    Mr Linley-Adams added: ?Loch Duart is a prime example of why Marine Scotland?s inspection reports should indeed be in the public domain. The company has an abysmal record on fish escapes and is reported to have lost almost 60,000 in eight separate incidents in the last ten years. Perhaps it is understandable why it so keen to suppress certain inspection reports on its farms.?
    "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." óGeorge W Bush, Sept. 29 2000.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Newfoundland and Labrador


    Over here our government was successfully sued for Millions for mismanaging our salmon stocks in BC and made to fix the wrongs. They immediately got smarter and revamped the entire federal Atlantic salmon policy so we wouldn't be able to sue them over on this side of the country and they could legally wash their hands of their mess. When some scientists provided evidence of mismanagement and fish farm damage in BC, they denied it and dreamed up their own studies to back their position.

    Moral of the story is, they want to back the fish farmer$. Here we just gave them (a huge salmon farming company) $20M of our tax dollars, set up an entire government department to help them ($Millions), and have the most ridiculous aquaculture laws in the modern world. HERE, THERE IS A LAW PROTECTING THEM FOM HAVING TO GIVE OUT ANY INFO and not one single line of legislation requiring disease management.

    Well guess what, we now have the largest ocean pens in Canada being built, a huge hatchery about to be built, and a projected 300% increase in salmon production as a result. The slick campaign these fish farmers sell has the unwitting politicians convinced its the way forward.

    The natural world almost always loses when faced with damage for money.

    ""I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." —George W Bush, Sept. 29 2000"
    ...just a little point. When asked if he would increase funding to help protect the salmon in Maine, USA. George laughed. When the age old tradition of sending the first salmon caught in the USA to the White House was re-instated while he was in office he accepted it. When he turned his back on the Atlantic salmon, anglers started to refuse to give him the first fish and instead sent the bones to him.

    When there was not enough salmon left in Maine to bother to fish for...he simply jumped in his helicopter and flew to Labrador to fish. It galls me that a set of our Newfie flies tied by my friend hang on the wall of his house in Kenneybunkport. When his Newfie guide was hiking along with him...the ghillie stepped on a narrow stick set solidly into a virtually bottomless peat bog but hid just below the surface...while Georgie went in waist deep and had to be hauled out by two secret service guys...
    Last edited by silverleapers; 03-12-2010 at 02:06 PM. Reason: added story
    Get educated and involved in what salmon open net pens are doing, before it is too late!

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