Friday, December 5, 2014

05/12/2014: Plans for English fish farm scrapped

Plans for a fish farm off the coast of Cornwall, England have been scrapped after widespread criticism by anglers and fisheries organisations, Fish and Fly reports

The idea, championed by the UK Government’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, had been to rear rainbow trout in an open net cage, rather like those used by salmon farmers off the west coast and Scottish Isles. 

Much opposition to such farms stems from the damage they are believed to cause to wild fish stocks by acting as breeding grounds for serious parasites such as fish lice and also due to the depletion of the natural gene pool caused by interbreeding between escapees and wild fish. And of course, there are fears that any such damage done to local fish stocks would have a knock-on effect on the local economy.

Neither England nor Wales currently has any offshore fish farms, and fisheries organisations are keen to keep things that way. Opponents to the scheme included the Institute of Fisheries Management, the Cornish Federation of Sea Anglers, the Salmon and Trout Association, the South West Rivers Association, the Angling Trust, the Atlantic Salmon Trust, the Wild Trout Trust and the Rivers Trust. 

Mark Lloyd of the Angling Trust said he was happy the “bizarre” idea had been dropped. 

“Farming fish in the wild has had disastrous impacts in Scottish lochs, and it is hard to see how these risks couldn’t be much worse in seas that get battered by Atlantic storms on a regular basis.” 

The scheme’s opponents maintain that any future salmon or trout farms must be in closed containment units as a guarantee against disease, parasites, pollution and escapees. 

Read more HERE.

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