Farmed salmon
Farmed salmon © Erling Svensen

CCN members who are active on issues related to salmon farming and other forms of aquaculture collaborate via the CCN Aquaculture group. Together, they hold a wealth of knowledge on their specific local contexts and technical detail around the environmental impacts of the finfish farming industry in Scotland.

The CCN Aquaculture group participated in the 2018 ECCLR and RECC inquiries and have presented large amounts of evidence to support the case for a temporary halt to the expansion of the industry, until it can be shown to be environmentally sustainable. Further to this, the group supports the Petition to the Scottish Government to use Closed Containment for Salmon Farms in Scotland (PE01715).

CCN is a member of SEPA’s Finfish Aquaculture Advisory Panel. Representatives from CCN have also attended Mark Ruskell MSP‘s Aquaculture Campaigners Roundtable Meetings. Some CCN members are part of the Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland (SARNS) and others are leading a complaint to the European Commission on the use of Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs).

Salmon Farming in Scotland

The salmon farming industry continues to remain under the spotlight in Scotland, subsequent to the Parliamentary reviews undertaken in 2018 by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee (ECCLR) and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee (REC), as well as SEPA publishing its Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan. The CCN Aquaculture group has responded to these opportunities by raising its community perspective and local concerns over the environmental impacts of the industry.

In 2020, SIFT and Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland published their report The Economic Contribution of Open Cage Salmon Aquaculture to Scotland: A Review of the Available Economic Evidence alongside a peer review of the research.

Scotland’s Wild Wrasse Fishery

Demand for ‘cleanerfish’ for use by the salmon farming industry is growing and much of this is satisfied by wild caught wrasse. Increased demand, alongside a lack of data and weak governance measures, have led to substantive concerns regarding the Scottish wrasse fishery. CCN is a member of a multi-disciplinary wrasse working group, looking at potential action to reform this industry in Scotland and to protect populations of these valuable and charasmatic fish.

The Scottish Government consulted on proposed new mandatory fishing measures for wild wrasse in spring 2020, with results not yet available.

Over the years, members of CCN have been meeting with aquaculture officials from Marine Scotland, SEPA, Crown Estate Scotland, Local Planning Authority representatives and MSPs. A variety of briefings, consultation responses, letters and press releases have been produced, some of which can be found below.