Sunday, May 29, 2022
NewsEnvironmentScots salmon farmers introduce new measures to combat marine litter

Scots salmon farmers introduce new measures to combat marine litter

SCOTLAND’S salmon farmers have launched a new measure to help keep beaches clean in coastal communities as part of a commitment to the wider marine environment.

Trade body Salmon Scotland is encouraging people to report litter, regardless of the source, so that nearby salmon farmers can help remove it.

They have created a dedicated inbox at [email protected] for reports, which they say should ideally include a location and photo.

The information is collated centrally and reported to local teams for recovery.

Miscellaneous debris on beach.
Marine debris can be broken off of salmon farms in extreme weather conditions. Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Salmon Scotland’s sustainability charter includes a pledge to “take every step possible to avoid marine debris from our farms and recover any items promptly regardless of their origin.”

In most cases, marine debris doesn’t come from salmon farms but from towns, cities, other countries and even other continents, brought to Scotland on prevailing winds and tides.

Despite most debris originating from littering or incorrect disposal, extreme weather in Scottish waters can occasionally break equipment loose from salmon farms.

The new measure covers the entire area where farms are based, ranging across the North West Highlands, the Western Isles, Argyll and Bute, Shetland and Orkney.

On top of the reporting measure, member companies are also helping to care for their local environment with regular beach clean-ups.

Last year, Mowi, a leading seafood company, carried out 79 beach cleans around the areas where it farms.

Similarly, Scottish Sea Farms made its annual participation in the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean a company-wide effort.

Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “Raising healthy fish relies on a healthy habitat, so it’s in all our interests to protect our shared environment.

“Salmon farmers are committed to their local communities and that goes far beyond creating local jobs and producing nutritious food.

“By co-ordinating our efforts to collect marine debris – regardless of where it has come from – we can make a positive difference.

“There is also a concerted drive from our sector to prevent any marine debris at the source which on rare occasions can be caused by instances of extreme weather.

“We’re privileged to work on some of the most beautiful coastlines in Scotland and we are committed to being good neighbours.”

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