sustainabilityfortheworld


Scotland’s Salmon Population Endangered
March 12, 2011, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Guardian (UK) posted a new article regarding a new trade agreement that was signed in January by the Chinese vice-premier, Li Keqiang, and Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmonda.

Scotland, the second largest salmon exporter in the world, has suspected that if even 1% of the Chinese population eat Scottish salmon, their salmon production will need to double to meet demands.

The size of the Chinese market for fresh Atlantic salmon is estimated at more than 10,000 tons a year, having grown considerably over the past decade. Scotland is the second largest salmon-producing country in the world, after Norway, and exports have grown by 500% in the past 20 years. Salmon now makes up 40% of Scottish food exports.

The agreement made by the Scottish first minister is a terrible mistake.

“The young wild fish, known as smolts, which migrate from the rivers to the sea each spring, cannot cope with more than the odd louse yet now must run the gauntlet past the fish-farm cages on their migration routes. They are “ambushed” by the unnaturally high concentrations of lice. The attachment of more than 10 lice is almost invariably fatal. The fish are literally eaten alive, although death is usually hastened by secondary infections, which gain access through open wounds made by the grazing lice.”

The Scottish first minister needs to rethink this agreement, and needs to make his decision from a sustainably responsible point of view.

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