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European Anglers Call For Tighter Controls On Salmon Farms

3rd September 2013
European Anglers Call For Tighter Controls On Salmon Farms

#Angling - A resolution passed last week at the general assembly of the European Anglers Alliance (EAA), representing the interests of 3 million recreational anglers across 13 European nations, demands that all farmed Atlantic salmon should be produced in closed or contained farm systems.

The EAA also urges all fish farming nations across Europe to pursue rapid development towards sustainability to reduce the impact on wild salmon populations, and urges policy makers to use the 'precautionary principle' and 'polluter pays principle' to ease the transition towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable salmon farming practices.

According to the lobby group, escaped farmed salmon and sea lice infestations continue to have a devastating impact on wild Atlantic salmon and Europe’s sea trout populations – many of which have seen severe declines, or have been destroyed completely.

So far the focus has been to fish-out escaped farmed salmon, as well as using chemical and biological measures to remove lice in the farms - measures that have unfortunately not solved the problems.

The alliance argues that closed or contained systems, either at sea or on land, would reduce the infestation of sea lice among farmed fish, reduce the risk of farmed fish escaping into the environment and dramatically reduce the damage done by waste, pollutants and chemical residues from disease treatment entering the natural environment.

“It may come as a surprise to most people that in many rivers there are more farmed than wild salmon," said EAA secretary general Jan Kappel. "The escaped farmed fish compete with and genetically pollute our wild salmon stocks. It is well known that sea lice spread from the salmon farms and harm wild salmon stocks.

"To our greatest surprise Norway has banned recreational angling in the Hardangerfjord where salmon stocks have declined due to the impact from extensive salmon farming. This doesn’t make sense. The polluter should be managed before other legitimate and sustainable users like recreational anglers are denied access to what used to be healthy salmon stocks.”

The EAA's comes in the wake of continued controversy over the proposed Galway Bay organic salmon farm, which if green-lighted would be the largest aquaculture facility of its kind in Europe.

Published in Angling
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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