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Updated: Jun 12, 2019

Following Fergus Ewing’s revelatory news that the Scottish Government are daring to request that salmon farm operators need to report sea lice numbers on a weekly basis, one wonders what the point of all this is.

Sea lice have always been the “red herring” in the quest to find out what is killing wild fish. There is no doubt they do. We have seen it. The Loch Roag disaster was dismissed by industry sycophants because as yet, nobody has invented a “lice tracker” to tell if the lice killing wild salmon originated from the gauntlet of salmon farms on the way to the river. But rest assured, scientists with altogether more honest intentions than Hesketh-Laird, Jaffa, MacDonnell and co are about to reveal lice data soon that will shake the industry to its core.

We already know the Government, SSPO, SEPA & feedlot operators are in a covert campaign to allow larger farms and greater chemical use. It’s their foregone collusion. We had the FOI request that exposed #licegate, proving the industry‘s cynical and bullying capture of the regulator on Emamectin Benzoate use. Now we have the new SEPA Finfish Aquaculture Plan which relies on more relaxed computer modelling software to tell lazy underfunded desk jockeys if a farm can expand or not, based on dispersal patterns of salmon crap. We were told they had already concluded that toxic residues in the marine environment are worse than they thought. And with the “status quo” not being an option, the “precautionary principle” putting the environment first - it’s all getting confusing.

We asked Roseanna Cunningham what safeguards are in place for protecting wild fish from disease, viruses & pathogens.

In reply, we got an FOI response to a request we put in earlier in the year regarding Hydrogen Peroxide use (!?). (For your information, the farms are pumping 11,000,000 litres of Hydrogen Peroxide into the sea each year together with millions of “cleaner fish” fed to the lice and killed within 2 years).

So, we asked the responder, Fiona Watt of Aquaculture Health and Welfare, what safeguards are in place for protecting wild fish from disease, viruses & pathogens!

In reply, we were told:

Most diseases of farmed fish originate in the environment. Therefore, many infections which can be carried by farmed fish are present naturally within the wider marine environment. The management of interactions between wild and farmed fish must be proportionate and evidence based. The Scottish Government conducts a risk based fish health surveillance regime and strict controls are in place to prevent the introduction and spread of listed fish and shellfish disease in Scotland. This is in addition to daily fish health monitoring by company fish health staff, including private veterinary care. Sea lice can transfer between wild and farmed fish, and vice versa. There is currently no evidence on the magnitude of any impact from sea lice from salmon farms on wild salmonids  levels in Scotland, so a Salmon Interactions Working Group has been established to examine and provide advice on a future approach to managing the interactions between farmed and wild fish in Scotland. The Salmon Interactions Working Group is aided by a Technical Working Group, which is developing the practical arrangements to manage these interactions, and is aiming to consult on proposals later this summer.

More #licewash. We never asked for info on lice.

If they want to operate within their own “precautionary principle“ with a “proportionate and evidence based” approach, then they need look no further than the millions of farmed salmon mortalities attributed to disease, viruses & pathogens. Compare and contrast with the last remaining thousands of wild fish migrating through the aquaculture zone. In Ardnamurchan, it is thought that once prolific wild salmon numbers, now migrating past MOWI farms, may only be in the TENS:- heading for extinction.

This is all deeply worrying. From the mortality statistics 2017 & 2018, it would appear that no amount of health monitoring can prevent these disease outbreaks. And private veterinary care is only there to prescribe the chemical “remedy” of choice, or to sign off a cull. We also know that ISA and PRV are proven to transmit from farmed to wild fish.

It is clear that the Government and industry do not have the proper safeguards in place to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases from farmed to wild fish.

Furthermore, they are putting the blame on the environment and wild fish!

It beggars belief. Just what kind of people are we dealing with here?

More to come on this.

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