Collapse in wild salmon – fish farming gets the blame
Fish Farming Today
30th May 2003
WWF and the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) today released a report claiming to detail the failure of the Scottish Executive and Westminster to tackle the alarming decline in stocks of wild Atlantic salmon worldwide by letting the aquaculture industry expand unchecked over the past decade.
“Farmed fish now outnumber wild fish 48 to one in the North Atlantic. Scotland, which produces over 22 per cent of all the farmed salmon in the Atlantic, has a big part to play in this unfolding tragedy,” said Helen McLachlan, Marine Policy Officer for WWF Scotland.
The report, Protecting Wild Salmon from the Impacts of Aquaculture, claims to show how over a decade of poorly regulated expansion in fish farming in Scotland, Canada, the United States, Norway, Ireland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, has jeopardised the future of wild salmon and links the decline with sea lice infestations from farmed salmon sites and the mixing of escaped farmed salmon with wild populations.
According to the report the Scottish Executive's failed to regulate the industry during its first four years in power.
Although WWF recognizes that a number of these issues are being addressed by the Scottish Executives aquaculture strategy, published earlier this year, they are yet to be convinced. "There are a lot of fine words about ensuring a sustainable future for the aquaculture industry, but it has to deliver results before it is going to convince anyone that this is really going to make a difference. Anything less is window dressing," MacLachlan concluded.