Scotland’s largest salmon company: “Like all farming, we have our challenges that need to be addressed”

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Marine Harvest replies to inquiry into Scottish salmon farms.

A government committee report on salmon farming released today, provides recommendations that will help guide responsible growth to satisfy growing demand for its products, said Scotland’s largest salmon company in a press release today.

Ben Hadfield, Managing Director of Marine Harvest Scotland and Chief Operating Officer of Marine Harvest’s fish feed segment

“While acknowledging the economic and food contribution the salmon farming sector provides, the committee recommends several important regulatory improvements that will help guide responsible growth of our business,” said Ben Hadfield, Marine Harvest’s managing director.

The company notes that the Committee’s response to some stakeholder’s submissions calling for a moratorium was very clear: “there is insufficient evidence to support this”.

“We are pleased to see the Committee’s appreciation for salmon farming’s contribution to our domestic and export foods, and the sustainability of rural communities,” says Hadfield. “We also acknowledge, and agree with, the Committee’s statement that the future of the sector’s regulatory regime will not be the ‘status quo’. We would expect our regulatory system to advance along with and, in fact, lead sector development.”

“As the recent Coller FAIRR Index ranked salmon aquaculture companies in the top ten of the largest global animal protein producers for sustainability (Marine Harvest #2), our business has much to be proud of, and our efficient use of resources to grow a healthy food is well established and should be celebrated. But like all farming, we have our challenges that need to be addressed, and focus on reducing negative impacts should remain top priority for the business and its regulators.”

The salmon farmer said that it was please to see recommendations for continued improvement to: consumer education, data reporting, organic waste management, fish health, monitoring and regulatory enforcement, workforce development and housing, strategic siting guidance, science funding, and collaboration between farmed and wild fish sectors.

It also highlighted to the committee recommendations are already being led by Marine Harvest (wrasse culture, sea lice reporting, wild fish sector collaboration), there are new initiatives the company will look forward to collaborating on with key stakeholders.