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Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what sums he is making available for research into the effect farmed salmon escapees are having on nature stocks in the present and next three financial years; and if he will list the projects and establishments on which the money is being expended.

In the current financial year, 1991–92, the Department expects to spend about £210,000, at full economic cost, on studies of the genetic component of population structure and genetic variation in performance of farmed and wild salmon. The work will continue, but detailed plans, or costs, for 1992–93 and later financial years have not yet been finalised.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the source of the brood fish used in the production of farmed salmon in Scotland; what research he has carried out into the genetic differences between them and the salmon in Scottish rivers; and what information he has on how many brood fish came from each source in each of the last five years.

Information on the numbers of sources of broodstock used by salmon farmers is not obtained or collected centrally.Studies on the genetic constitution of farmed fish compared with wild salmon have been undertaken by scientists of the Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department over the past three years. The findings have been published in specialist papers. Copies of Scottish fisheries working paper No. 4/89 and Scottish fisheries research report 42, published by the Department, have been placed in the Library. The most recent findings have been published this year in the specialist journal "Aquaculture", Vol. 98 Nos. 1–3.