As the Scottish Government continues its consultation on the country’s first Marine Bill, the Sea Trout Group is calling on the world’s biggest fish farming company to clean up its act in regard to litter dumped in a coastal Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
Marine Harvest ceased operating its salmon farm on Loch Sunart several years ago. However, as the attached photographs (taken this month) show, a considerable amount of debris from the farm has simply been abandoned on the loch shore.
The Sea Trout Group believes this sort of careless behaviour by a major salmon farming company bodes ill for good stewardship of our coasts and seas.
“It’s crucial that all of us, including the salmon farmers, focus our attention stewardship of the precious resource of our marine and coastal environment,” said STG member Ronnie Picken, who is also President of the Scottish Anglers’ National Association.
“For many years, we’ve called on salmon farmers to raise their game in terms of containing their fish and controlling sea lice. We’d also like to see them show more respect to the coastal environment – particularly in areas which are SACs. I’ve heard that it’s a brave company which would pollute the coastal environment this way in Norway, where the ownership of nearly one hundred per cent of the “Scottish” salmon farming industry now lies.
“We feel that the fact Marine Harvest has left this mess, despite complaints from local people over the years, is a sad reflection of the complacent attitude salmon farmers have to the environment. Companies which are using our waters to grow their fish – for the profit of their shareholders – have a duty to look after the environment, not a right to use (and misuse) it. We’d call on local planning authorities and Scottish Ministers to ensure that Marine Harvest, and the other salmon farming companies operating here, sharpen up their act and clean up their mess,” added Mr Picken.