The saveseilsound campaign which leads the way in identifying the failures in the regulatory regime governing the operation of salmon farms – and failures in the implementation of the regime as it is – has recently discovered and opened up a major issue.
Salmon farms, in the density and intensity of their nature, are subject to mass fish mortalities from the diseases that serially afflict this dirty industry.
So what happens to this ‘fish waste’ – the tens of thousands of dead salmon that require to be disposed of from a single disease strike?
No one will say.
There is no formally required method of disposal of such waste. Much of it must go unnotified – but not unsmelled – to formal or informal landfill. But what does it bequeath there for the future?
The environmental editor of The Herald, Rob Edwards, taking up this issue raised by saveseilsound, published the fact that he was told by an official from Shetland council that one batch of mortalities were actually processed for fish meal at a plant in Bressay. If this were indeed the case, such disposal is completely illegal and risks the transfer of pathogens from diseased dead salmon to the living ones who are fed from fish meal products in the cages.
What is arguably the most serious failure discovered by saveseilsound on this matter is the fact that there is no agency or body whatsoever with given responsibility or accountability for overseeing or even guiding the safe disposal of salmon mortalities – not SEPA, not the FHI and not Argyll and Bute Council.
saveseilsound have now raised a complaint on this entire issue with the European Commission, ‘Concerning the Failure of the United Kingdom to Comply with Community Law in Relation to the Safe Disposal of Category Two Fish Waste in Argyll’.
It is required reading: COMPLAINT BY THE SAVESEILSOUND CAMPAIGN GROUP