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Scottish Petition Says Save Our Salmon

by 5m Editor
25 August 2009, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND - Salmon and Trout Association petition calls on Scottish Government to act without delay by relocating salmon farms away from the estuaries of major salmon rivers.

As at 5 pm on 3 August, over 9,000 signatures supporting this major campaign have already been collected.

The survival of wild salmon and sea trout in the west Highlands and Islands is at a tipping point. Fish farms, once hailed as economic saviours, threaten the very existence of sustainable west coast runs of one of our most iconic species, says the Association of Salmon Fisheries Boards.

The Salmon & Trout Association’s (S&TA) recently launched petition is a dire warning of the impending disaster – and a call to arms to the Scottish Parliament to act before it is too late.

Paul Knight, Executive Director of S&TA, said: “We fully recognise that salmon farming in Scotland makes a significant contribution to the Scottish economy. However this industry is also threatening the very survival of our wild salmon and sea trout in the west Highlands and Islands. It is the source of huge sea lice infestations that are literally eating our wild fish alive. It is fundamentally inequitable that the interests of the fish farm industry should be permitted to ride roughshod over one of the country’s greatest natural assets”.

Mr Knight continued: “Over the last decade there has been a wealth of research in both western Scotland, some of it conducted by Scottish Government scientists, and in other salmon farming areas overseas which has shown conclusively the devastating damage that sea lice emanating from the farms cause to runs of migrating wild salmon and sea trout. The only practical solution is to move the farms away from the most important estuaries”.

George Holdsworth, Scottish Policy Officer for S&TA, added: “There is a great deal of anger at the continuing intransigence of the Scottish Government to address this problem. This petition represents an opportunity for individuals to express their concerns and to show that their views are shared by very many thousands of others. We aim to use the petition as a vehicle to force Scottish Government to face up finally to its responsibilities and take appropriate action to ensure that salmon farming becomes, at long last, environmentally sustainable. We urge everyone who shares our concern to sign this important petition."

The petition will run until early 2010 and be delivered to the Scottish Parliament in the spring. Signatures are being collected on the ground at numerous events and retail premises as well as online at http://www.salmon-trout.org/save_petition.asp

5m Editor

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