Petition on sea lice from salmon farms in Scotland

WTT members may be interested in this petition from Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland, closing date 25 February 2016, to protect wild sea trout and salmon from sea lice emanating from salmon farms:


WTT reported in its autumn 2015 newsletter on a study from Ireland, Scotland and Norway on the impacts from salmon farming on sea trout populations, especially in relation to sea lice infestation. It is thought that more than 13 sea lice on an individual sea trout post-smolt will kill it; this study looked at around 8000 post-smolts, finding loads of up to 400 lice per fish.

The work suggests that a sea trout river must be 30 – 40km away from a salmon cage farm for there to be no impact on the post-smolts from sea lice emanating from the farm. At less than 15km distance, lice emanating from the farm will kill 50 – 100% of the sea trout post-smolts.

Salmon farming in Scotland and especially Ireland has many fewer safeguards in place to try to protect sea trout, compared to the Norwegian industry and its regulators. That said, this study estimates that across Norway, 65% of rivers have sea trout populations whose numbers are regulated by salmon farms in the rivers’ fjords.