Responding to the Marine Harvest announcement today that it will seek ASC certification for all its salmon farms, the Salmon & Trout Association Scotland gave a qualified welcome.

Guy Linley–Adams, Solicitor to the Salmon & Trout Association (Scotland)’s Aquaculture Campaign said “In order to receive this certification, Marine Harvest will have to publish weekly farm specific sea lice data individually for each of their farms. This is what the S&TA(S) has called for for many years, and ensures producers stand by their environmental obligations. For this reason we do welcome Marine Harvest’s decision and hope all other fish farms will follow its lead.

However, this isn’t the end of the story. Marine Harvest still have fish-farms in the wrong places, as do all fish-farmers. They are too near to wild salmonid rivers threatening wild fish conservation and those farms need to be relocated. Loch Ewe is perhaps the most infamous case of a fish-farm in the wrong place. The S&TA(S) wants to see that farm closed.”

Hughie Campbell Adamson, Chairman of Salmon & Trout Association Scotland added, “Whilst Marine Harvest should be congratulated for recognising their responsibilities and finally accepting the importance of public scrutiny, you have to ask why both Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and the Scottish Government fought so doggedly to stop this very provision being included in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill in the debate in Parliament last week. Both claimed that to disclose this information would be detrimental to the commercial interests of the farms; clearly Marine Harvest see no such problem, and would expect the rest of the industry to follow. This though is just a start; the environment and wild fish will continue to suffer until all production in Scotland is moved to closed containment”