Scottish fish farms disposed 22,479 tonnes of dead fish in 2016

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The Scottish fish farming industry has admitted that it threw away up to ten million salmon last year, because of disease, parasites and other problems.

According to the Sunday Herald, citing official government statistics, unwanted mortalities have in the last three years risen to record levels. 22,479 tonnes, or somewhere between six and ten million fish were disposed of last year.

The newspaper also states that Marine Harvest suffered the biggest losses, whose mortalities leaped threefold to 7,609 tonnes between 2013 and 2016.

“We would clearly prefer if we had not had this level of mortalities,” said Marine Harvest’s business support manager, Steve Bracken.

“But what is more positive is that the picture is changing. We are making strong progress in reducing the sea lice levels and tackling the challenge of AGD,” he added.

The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), representing the industry, confirmed the numbers.

“Last year saw some problems which resulted in the loss of between 6 and 10 million fish, depending on their size,” said SSPO chief executive, Scott Landsburgh.

“This is something which the industry takes very seriously and is working hard to minimise. Disposal of mortalities is managed in line with the government’s approved methods and legislation,” he said.