Second Scots Committee switching from lice to livelihoods

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Marine Harvest will reportedly appear with evidence-giving researchers and an economist from the Scottish Association of Marine Science and the University of Stirling to testify on the value of its operations around Scotland, as a two-committee probe into salmon-farming continues on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee delivered its report to lawmakers, making recommendations in the form of “conclusions” (later edited to “views”). In the report, they noted the world’s largest salmon-farmer had been awarded licenses in 2018 allotted generous allowances for the use of anti-lice treatment, emamectin benzoate.

SalmonBusiness retained an original version of the report which was later edited and reposted.

The committee noted that new licenses were being more strictly regulated for the lice treatment’s use than older licenses. Thus far in 2018, it appears Marine Harvest alone has been granted new licenses near Loch Boisdale, Inner Sound and Caol Mor. for three farms totalling 5,500 tonnes in maximum allowable biomass.

They noted, too, that Marine Harvest had 49 farms certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council out of 115 certified for all growers in Norway. Scotland has just two certified farms.

The Government’s Environment Committee, gives way today to the Rural Economy Committee, and Marine Harvest’s economic impact is likely to supplant talk of sea lice. This second committee is expected to only pursue whether salmon-farming offsets the economic benefits of wild-salmon and other economic stakeholders.