**UPDATE December 2018**
Things are looking up! MSPs put party politics aside and spoke out against the status quo with a scathing report on the salmon farming industry. It’s not yet concrete legislation -- but this is a promising step in the right direction.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the urgent recommendations from the report:
- We need to protect salmon from sea lice by matching international standards -- and farms that continually breach this number should be hit with penalties
- Fish farms won’t be allowed to expand if the rate of fish deaths is too high
- New fish farms should be built away from wild salmon migratory routes, and dangerously located farms should be supported to relocate
- Waste collection and removal from salmon farms needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency to protect Scotland’s marine environment
Now, we have to make sure these promising words become robust legislation.
Here's the original petition:
Think Scottish salmon is farmed sustainably? Think again. New footage secretly filmed inside salmon farms has exposed how these fish are barely surviving in disgusting conditions, akin to battery farming.
The films show diseased and deformed salmon in waters plagued with sea lice -- in farms that supply high street supermarkets. Even worse, the contaminated water that washes out from these pens has deadly consequences for nearby wild fish populations.
Scottish parliament is producing a new report on salmon farming, just as this stomach-churning footage has hit national media. Now’s our chance to push them to enforce much stricter welfare requirements for the industry.
Scotland is one of the top three producers of farmed Atlantic salmon in the world, but new data shows that millions of the fish are dying -- with this footage, it’s not hard to see why. The fishing expert who made the film said he’d never “witnessed such extensive animal suffering” in his life.
With sea lice feeding on open wounds, crooked fins and disfigured tails, the state of these salmon shows that the industry’s health claims are a farce.
By cutting corners on welfare, big companies that put salmon on our supermarket shelves are profiting off damaging the environment and putting fish through endless suffering.
The secret footage comes hot on the heels of a hugely damning report into Scotland’s salmon farms hitting the headlines. Leading animal charities are calling for a pause on the expansion of the industry until authorities sort this mess out.
The Scottish authorities have the evidence -- they just need to see that thousands of ordinary folk want to see urgent action.
Our partners at Scottish Salmon Watch have outlined exactly what the Scottish Government and Scottish Environment Protection Agency needs to do to clean up the industry:
- Enforce the Animal Health & Welfare (2006) Act with respect to farmed salmon
- Monitor effluent from salmon farms and processing plants
- Test for viruses, pathogens, diseases and bacteria
So we're taking these demands directly to them, with a massive, people-powered petition they can't ignore. Together we can make sure they hold the corporations profiting off salmon farming to account.
The Scottish authorities already know we’re watching -- SumOfUs members are making a huge splash about the state of the salmon industry. Over 43,000 of us have called for the Scottish government to take action on effluent from salmon farming operations, and when we delivered our petition to MSPs in April, it was all over the media.
Now, with mounting evidence that can’t be ignored, the Scottish authorities need to know we’re not going away.
Another parliamentary report is being written now, so we need as many names as possible to push the authorities’ hand. If we leave it too late, Scottish salmon will continue to live lives full of pain and suffering -- in ecologically poisonous conditions.
Call on the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to take urgent action on salmon welfare and salmon farming pollution!