Scottish salmon farmers lead the way with transparent reporting

Scotland’s salmon farmers have published monthly mortality figures on a farm-by-farm basis to increase transparency and understanding of this key sector.

The data, which covers 100% of Scottish salmon farms, shows that for the first four months of this year, survival rates on farms ranged between 98.5% and 99%. Around 60% of salmon farms stocked with fish had less than 1% mortality.

This reporting is believed to be a first among all farming sectors in the UK and is at the forefront of international reporting for salmon farming globally.

‘The health and welfare of salmon is hugely important to salmon farmers,’ said Julie Hesketh-Laird, Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO). ‘This regular, voluntary publication is unparalleled and sets a precedent for transparency in business reporting. It sets a base line to show future trends and currently around two-thirds of active salmon farms have 99% survival rates. We hope this will be helpful to the progress of the collaborative Farmed Fish Health Framework initiative to further improve survival of salmon.’

‘We welcome the fact that salmon farming is taking steps to be more open and transparent about the levels of mortality within the sector, commented Scottish Government Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas. ‘Of course, what is most important is that we all work together to tackle mortality of any level, in any sector, to help reduce it to an absolute minimum. The recently published 10-year Farmed Fish Health Framework for Scotland is a progressive step towards that aim, bringing together producers, government and regulators to address the big issues in Aquaculture.’

The published figures, collated on behalf of the industry by SSPO, build on the longstanding reporting to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Marine Scotland. The new reports provide monthly farm-by-farm statistics for use by Scottish Government’s Fish Health Inspectorate and scientists. Additional information on the causes of mortality is also provided, including extreme weather incidents, jellyfish, algal blooms, marine predators and disease.

Source: SSPO