Scottish Green MSPs have added their support to a letter calling for a pause on new salmon farms, due to unacceptably high mortality rates.
The letter organised by charities Animal Equality and OneKind highlights concerns about the recently published mortality figures on Scottish salmon farms, which were nearly double that of the previous year, with 15 million prematurely dead fish from January to November 2022.
It urges the Scottish Government to impose a moratorium on the expansion of the industry until animal welfare and environmental concerns are addressed.
Green MSPs added their names alongside representatives from all opposition parties.
Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands Ariane Burgess said:
“The sky high mortality figures across the industry are just the latest sign that Scottish salmon farms are struggling to control their impact on animal welfare and the environment.
“Farmed salmon across Scotland are suffering from sea lice infestations and harsh treatment, disease outbreaks, premature death and – for those that survive to maturity – prolonged pain in slaughterhouses.
“But they’re not the only victims of this industry: Wild salmon, other marine wildlife, and local fishers all face the impacts of environmental degradation and pollution from salmon farming.
“It is becoming clearer and clearer that large scale salmon farms are not good for the salmon, not good for wild fish and the marine environment, and are simply not sustainable in their current form.
“Given the state of salmon farms right now, there needs to be a pause on expansion until the industry can demonstrate that it has substantially reduced fish deaths and environmental impact.”