The ACA has threatened to take legal action against anyone who brings a deadly new fish parasite to the UK. 
Gyrodactylus Salaris is a real threat to salmon fisheries in the UK.  It has cost Norway more than £350m so far and Norwegian rivers, apparently cleaned and re-stocked, have become re-infected.  
It would be catastrophic if the parasite reached our shores, as it spreads very rapidly through river systems and is initially difficult to detect.

 

Government campaigns have been directed at anglers and canoeists, correctly urging them to clean their equipment after contact with Norwegian waters. However, fears are growing that the movement of eggs and live fish between the Norwegian and Scottish salmon farming industries carries with it the risk, which we should not be taking, of introducing G. salaris into our fisheries and salmon stocks.  The net economic capital value of salmon fishing in the UK has been estimated to be over £250 million.  G. salaris infects the skin, gills and fins of salmon, trout and some other species of freshwater fish and it could decimate salmonid stocks throughout the UK.

 

Mark Lloyd, ACA Executive Director, said:

“It is quite clear that G. salaris has the potential to cause untold damage if it were to reach the UK.  The ACA’s message to the salmon farming industry is clear:  if infected fish or eggs are imported from Norway, the ACA will seek many tens of millions of pounds in compensation for our members for their loss of angling amenity and the diminution in capital value of fisheries.  The ACA is working closely with other members of the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT) to do everything we can to prevent this nightmare scenario occurring.”

 

Guy Linley-Adams, ACA Solicitor, said:

“From a legal point of view, the risks are well known to the salmon farming industry. The potential for damaging wild salmon fisheries is also well known. The industry should think long and hard about whether it is worth running the risk of live imports.  Let there be no doubt that, if the worst happens and G. salaris does arrive, and the introduction can be shown on balance of probabilities to have been the fault of the salmon farming industry, then ACA solicitors will come knocking on behalf of its members.”


Notes:

 

Gyrodactylus salaris is a freshwater parasitic fluke of Atlantic salmon. Its native host is the Baltic strain of Atlantic salmon, in which the parasite does not cause clinical disease. However, the transfer of the parasite to Norwegian Atlantic salmon strains in the late 1970’s produced disease outbreaks resulting in an average loss of 89% of salmon from infected rivers. The Atlantic strain of Atlantic salmon present in Norway, are the same as in England and Wales. Experimental exposure of UK stocks to
G. salaris has shown they are susceptible to the parasite.

·The ACA was founded in 1948 with the purpose of using common law to fight to protect water environments.

·Since that time, the ACA has won in excess of two thousand cases and recovered many millions of pounds in damages, which is returned to the members the ACA represents.  Throughout our history, we have lost only three cases.  At any one time, we typically have about fifty to sixty cases running and give clubs legal advice across the entire range of angling matters.

·Clubs wishing to join the ACA should phone 01568 620447 during office hours or download a subscription form from the web site: www.a-c-a.org

·The ACA’s Annual Report is available on request.

The Fisheries & Angling Conservation Trust (FACT) is a company limited by guarantee that was formed in January 2005 to protect and promote the interests of angling and recreational fisheries in the UK.  FACT encompasses the work undertaken hitherto by the National Angling Alliance (NAA), the Moran Committee, and the Joint Angling Governing Bodies (JAGB). Its subscribing members are:-

 

 

 

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