Proposals for a risk-based framework for managing interaction between sea lice from marine finfish farm developments and wild Atlantic salmon in Scotland

Closed 14 Mar 2022

Opened 3 Dec 2021

Overview

Scotland is renowned worldwide for the quality of its rivers, lochs and seas. Despite this, in nearly 60% of salmon rivers across Scotland, including on the West Coast and Western Isles, salmon populations are in poor conservation status.

Twelve groups of high-level pressures on the status of salmon stocks have been identified, one of which includes sea lice from marine finfish farms.

The Scottish Government has confirmed SEPA as the lead body responsible for managing the risk posed by sea lice from marine finfish farms to wild salmonids.

We are now consulting on our proposals for the new, spatially based risk assessment framework for regulating the interaction between sea lice from marine finfish farms and wild Atlantic salmon.

The framework will be applied through the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

We have worked closely with scientists from Marine Scotland to develop the technical details of the proposed framework as well as with NatureScot and local planning authorities.

Input from stakeholder groups on the Salmon Interactions Working Group (finfish producers, fishery management organisations and environmental NGOs) has been invaluable in helping shape and refine the framework during its development to date.

The proposed framework would be implemented by embedding it within our wider regulatory framework introduced in 2019, which already regulates all discharges from marine finfish farms to the water environment.

You can download a copy of the consultation below but please read and complete the questions online where possible.

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Audiences

  • Fisheries
  • Aquaculture

Interests

  • Fisheries
  • Aquaculture