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Open and transparent

… but not actually revealing anything

A parasite incubator.
A parasite incubator.

In December, a sea lice problem was revealed in fish farms on the west coast of Mull through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request. Sites belonging to the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) were experiencing problems with the parasites that can kill juvenile wild salmon. The Oban Times ran the story, which was reported to them by Don Staniford, director of Protect Wild Scotland who said: “Sea lice infestations are exploding up and down the west coast of Scotland as chemical resistance renders toxic treatments less effective.”

A spokeswoman for SSC added: "Sadly it is becoming common for a small, irresponsible minority of single-issue activists have sought to distort the on-going conduct of open and transparent discussions that we use to share knowledge and best practice. In Scotland, the salmon farming industry, including SSC, works closely and continuously with SAMS, while levels of sea lice are constantly monitored and reported to Marine Scotland on a quarterly basis.”

Marine Scotland stated in its FoI response to Don Staniford, “Fish farmers are required to maintain records of sea lice counts in association with both A Code of Good Practice for Scottish Finfish Aquaculture (the industry CoGP) and the Fish Farming Businesses (Record Keeping) (Scotland) Order 2008. Whilst Marine Scotland inspects these records during routine inspections under the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007, sea lice count information and data is not routinely collected.”

So, that’s all right then, isn’t it?

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