The Sea Trout Group (STG) has considered the Scottish Executive’s proposals, published in December, for the country’s first-ever aquaculture legislation.


“We particularly welcome the Executive’s proposal to appoint a Regulator to oversee sea lice management and containment of fish on salmon farms,” said STG chairman Professor David Mackay.


“The Sea Trout Group has always supported the existence of a sustainable fish farming industry in Scotland, and we believe that the proposals for legislation go a long way to ensuring that fish farms are operated in a way which is sustainable. From the point of view of welfare of both our native wild salmonids and farmed salmon, effective control of sea lice is crucial. Loss of farmed fish through escapes is also something which damages both sectors.


“We perceive the Executive’s proposals as offering a pragmatic and workable solution to the need to regulate currently unregulated aspects of cage fish farming. The worst possible outcome would be for these proposals to be ‘watered down’ before they reach the stage of becoming law.


“We would urge all anglers, and others interested in the welfare of our native wild fish, to write to the Executive, responding favourably to these proposals by 24 February,” concluded Professor Mackay.