Julie Hesketh-Laird, Chief Executive of SSPO, said:
“Our members work tirelessly to ensure salmon is reared in a sustainable manner to high welfare standards. Fish health and maintaining a high quality and diverse environment in which fish are raised are of paramount importance and underpin the success of salmon farming businesses and the jobs they support. Working in nature inevitably means that farmers deal with, as part of their regular routine, environmental challenges which occur naturally and predators which can cause significant damage and harm the welfare of farm-raised salmon.
The salmon farming sector continues to invest significantly in innovation and R&D in partnership with the private and academic sectors as well as with government and regulators.
Not all of the key indicators chosen by OneKind accurately reflect the care taken at farms to ensure good animal welfare. For example, overall fish biomass is not a relevant indicator as all our members’ farms are committed to a comfortable stocking density for salmon – each net pen containing about 2% fish and 98% water at maximum density allowing salmon to shoal naturally.
Aquaculture is a tightly regulated food production sector with a strong requirement for transparency of information. Our members will continue to work to meet the highest regulatory standards, exceeding mandatory requirements wherever possible, and, in individual instances where incidents do occur, will work to improve and embed learnings into future practices. “