Farmed fish health: Scotland’s Farmed Fish Health Framework


The group was established in December 2017 to deliver a farmed fish health framework for Scotland, following a Programme for Government 2017-2018 commitment. Scotland’s 10 Year Farmed Fish Health Framework was published on 23 May 2018 after being developed by the Farmed Fish Health Framework Working Group.

Scotland’s Farmed Fish Health Framework seeks to support a progressive approach to fish welfare and health management, which in turn will contribute to greater sustainability and productivity of one of Scotland’s most important food sectors and contributors to our rural economy.

A review of the structure of the delivery mechanisms was undertaken in 2020 to help ensure future effectiveness and efficiency. The new governance structure in place and refreshed approach prioritises those work streams of Scotland’s Farmed Fish Health Framework which stand to make the most direct impact on fish health in Scotland.

The revised priority workstreams of the steering group are:

  • mortality by cause analysis with the associated framework activities to:
    • develop a consistent reporting methodology for collection of information on the causes of farmed fish mortality over recent years
    • provide mortality data for farmed fish according to mortality cause
  • climate change and ocean acidification with the associated framework activities to:
    • consider the creation of real time monitoring of plankton in, and alert of the occurrence of, potentially harmful phytoplankton species
    • determine how best to measure changing climatic conditions in Scotland particular to aquaculture  
  • treatments (including medicines) with the associated framework activities to:
    • encourage development of new medicines with the aim of increasing treatment flexibility within environmentally sustainable limits

Minutes pre-2020

View the formal output from the group before the governance structure and focus of the group was refreshed.


  • Dr Sheila Voas, Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Chair

The steering group is comprised of representation from:

  • British Trout Association 
  • Fish Vets
  • MOWI Scotland 
  • Salmon Scotland 
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency 
  • Scottish Government 
  • Scottish Sea Farms
  • Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre 
  • Veterinary Medicines Directorate, UK Government


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