The use of biomass or feed to regulate the organic output from marine pen fish farming to the environment

Closed 17 Jan 2020

Opened 3 Oct 2019


Scotland is the largest Atlantic salmon aquaculture producer in the European Union and third in the world after Norway and Chile. A contributing factor to this is Scotland’s reputation for a high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources.

SEPA’s vision is that the sector becomes a world-leading innovator in ways to minimise the environmental footprint of food production and supply; where it has a strong and positive relationship with neighbouring users of the environment and communities; and where it is valued nationally for its contribution to achieving global food security.

As one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, in November 2018 SEPA announced firm, evidence-based proposals to strengthen the regulation of the sector.

We proposed using site specific limits on the quantity of feed that could be fed to farmed fish over a period of time as a means of controlling the quantity of organic wastes discharged. This would have represented a move from our existing regulatory controls which limit the quantity of organic wastes discharged by setting site-specific limits on the maximum weight of fish (biomass) that can be held on a farm at any one time.

The responses were mixed and included requests for more detail about the use of feed; and further discussion with experts.

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Download a copy of the consultation, The use of biomass or feed to regulate organic output from marine pen fish farms.

Why your views matter

This consultation further explores methods for how we assess the organic load from a marine pen fish farm to ensure organic residues from farms don’t negatively impact local environments. We intend to provide certainty and transparency to site operators, regulators and communities. We are committed to listening and to getting this right which is why we are asking for responses to options for approaches from the broadest possible group of stakeholders with interests in our regulation of the sector.


  • Aquaculture


  • Aquaculture