Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill Consultation Document Environmental Report February 2012

This Environmental Report sets out the results of the assessment of the possible environmental effects of provisions in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill.


Current Situation

6.1 The Fish Farming Businesses (Record Keeping) (Scotland) Order 2008 [35] requires farm operators to maintain records on the control and treatment of parasites, and the containment, prevention and recovery of farmed fish escapes. The CoGP sets out requirements for the recording of information relating to parasites, escapes, and mortality and disease. The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation ( SSPO) manages a dedicated system for the gathering and exchange of information on lice management across Scotland and publishes regional lice management reports on its website. [35] Data collected for Tripartite Working Group Area Management Agreements is also shared between participants.

6.2 Marine Scotland is currently notified in certain circumstances, such as where exceedances of the mortality thresholds agreed by the MGA Healthier Fish and Shellfish Working Group are identified. However, there is no legal requirement for the publication of information relating to sea-lice, mortality, disease and production.


6.3 The proposed provisions include:

  • institute statutory requirements to collect and publish site-specific sea-lice data
  • institute a requirement for finfish farms to provide data on fish mortality, movements, disease, treatment and production

Potential Effects

6.4 The collection and publication of data, particularly on sea-lice and disease outbreaks, is considered a key element in the co-ordinated and informed management of these issues. The collection of site information on fish mortality, movements, disease, treatment and production by Marine Scotland would improve the knowledge base on these issues, and help to identify treatment/efficacy failures and the subsequent facilitation of mitigation and remediation measures where necessary. The improved management of fish mortality, disease and sea-lice treatment in particular, will be of benefit to wild salmonid populations.


6.5 As no significant negative effects from these provisions have been identified, no mitigation measures are required. Given the high-level nature of the provisions, enhancement measures have not been proposed at this stage of the Bill's development.

Effects of Continuing the Status Quo

6.6 At present finfish farm operators collect data but this is not subject to overview and co-ordinated action. There is a risk that continuing the status quo will undermine efforts to control sea-lice and pathogens, with associated risks to wild salmonid populations.


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