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Salmon Farms: Relocation

Volume 592: debated on Thursday 30 July 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will consider the removal of all salmon farming operations from estuaries of river systems on the west of Scotland to offshore locations, in order to stop sea lice, concentrated in great numbers around these farms, from attaching themselves to wild salmon and sea trout. [HL3011]

There are approximately 230 finfish farms with multiple cages situated on the west of Scotland. The relocation of these to offshore locations to avoid passing sea trout and salmon is neither realistic nor practicable at this time. Indeed, given the current state of cage technology, this could lead to an increase in escapes, thereby giving rise to heightened concerns about interactions with wild species.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they have carried out an economic impact study on the effect of moving salmon farms from their present inshore locations to ecologically safe offshore sites. [HL3014]

No estimate has been made of the cost of moving the fish farming industry further offshore.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will consider implementing all measures already being undertaken in Norway and the Republic of Ireland in order to protect west of Scotland fisheries from further declines in the number of wild sea trout and salmon. [HL3012]

We are always willing to learn from the experiences of other countries and there are exchanges between our respective scientific advisers.Guidance on the future location of fish farms will shortly be issued for consultation.