Julie Hesketh-Laird, CEO of Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), said:
“Fish health and welfare is at the heart of Scottish salmon farming. Working in nature inevitably means that farmers deal with challenges such as sea lice, which occur naturally on salmon. Sea lice management is an improving picture with reported levels at their lowest since July 2013.
“There have been challenges in the past couple of years with changing water temperatures and new gill health issues. Finding ways to manage these health challenges has taken some time but new solutions are showing benefits and the industry is working hard to reduce the levels.
“The recently launched Farmed Fish Health Framework is the result of industry, Government and regulator collaboration to set out the way ahead to ensure that farmed fish health achieves and maintains the very high standards that we aspire to in Scotland. The Framework recognises the valuable work that industry is already undertaking, sets out actions to be put in place, but importantly, looks ahead so that the industry and its stakeholders develop more open and transparent communication and understanding so that salmon farming can progress sustainably and successfully.”