Most are transported south to be burnt at an incinerator in Widnes near Warrington in northwest England.
Campaign groups warn that the industry is facing an “environment catastrophe”, is “haemorrhaging cash” and “shames Scotland”.
Disposal of mortalities is managed in line with the government’s approved methods and legislation.” Marine Harvest insisted it had been “very transparent” about the issues it had been facing with sea lice and amoebic gill disease (AGD).
“We would clearly prefer if we had not had this level of mortalities,” said the company’s business support manager, Steve Bracken.
THE Scottish fish farming industry has admitted that it threw away up to ten million salmon last year – nearly a quarter of its stock – because of diseases, parasites and other problems.
Official figures reveal the tonnages of dead fish that had to be disposed of has more than doubled from 10,599 in 2013 to a record high of 22,479 in 2016.
It also inevitably leads to the release of an infectious soup of disease organisms into our coastal waters.” He called for the industry to shift to a “closed containment system” that would protect the fish and the marine environment.
The same demand was made by the wild fish campaign group, Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland.
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“We have taken decisive action to tackle these challenges,” said a company spokesperson.
The Scottish Government pointed out that fish and shellfish farming contributes £620m to the Scottish economy every year, supporting more than 12,000 jobs.
“We have a duty to protect Scotland’s marine environment and the health and welfare of farmed fish is of utmost importance,” said a spokesperson.
“The Scottish Government is committed to working with the aquaculture sector to develop a strategic health framework that ensures we make progress in tackling major problems, including emerging disease and sea lice.” Who is throwing away the dead salmon fish farm company / tonnes in 2013 / tonnes in 2016 Marine Harvest / 2,224 / 7,609 Scottish Salmon Company / 2,436 / 5,873 Wester Ross / 86 / 3,142 Kames / 51 / 2,854 Scottish Sea Farms / 1,897 / 1,678 Grieg / 0 / 611 Dawnfresh / 122 / 200 Loch Duart / 581 / 33 Others / 3,202 / 479 Totals / 10,599 / 22,479 Salmon farming 2016 in numbers 162,817 tonnes production 3,903 tonnes organic production 43m young salmon 10m mortalities 311,496 fish escaped 253 fish farm sites 10 companies 1,486 staff £1.8bn business £3.6bn target business for 2030 Readers’ comments: You are personally liable for the content of any comments you upload to this website, so please act responsibly.
“It is the sign of an environmental catastrophe,” he said.