In the Scottish salmon sector, we are very proud of our processes, standards and results. Fish health and welfare is at the heart of every decision we make and is integral to everything we do. This is why it was placed at the heart of the sector Charter which was published in 2020 outlining our long-term sustainability plans.
Health and welfare is the Scottish salmon farming sector's number one priority
Working in nature, whether on land or at sea, inevitably means that overcoming challenges is part of a farmer's regular routine.
As salmon farmers, everything revolves around our fish. This means applying high standards of fish health and welfare throughout their lives, a principle we will always be guided by.
RSPCA Assured is the RSPCA’s ethical food label dedicated to farm animal welfare. It is a charity and operates totally independently from the food and farming sectors. Their standards are higher than other UK farm assurance schemes in many key welfare areas and recognised by the government as such.
The Scottish salmon farming sector takes a long-term view of ensuring that fish health and survival improve and that Scotland can lead in fish health status.
In 2018 the average monthly salmon survival rate on farms was 98.83%.
Sea lice are naturally-occurring tiny, translucent ectoparasitic copepods, which affect both wild and farmed fish and do not affect humans. Sea lice attach to the surface of a fish's skin, usually behind sheltered areas such as the fins and gills.
Fish health and welfare is at the heart of successful Scottish salmon farming.
Scottish salmon farmers rear their fish to the highest welfare standards, on the basis that fish in their care are capable of feeling pain. That is an underlying reason why the industry takes its welfare responsibility so seriously.
Farm pens in Scotland are stocked at some of the lowest farming densities of all salmon farming countries and production standards ensure that fish have plenty of room to shoal in clean, oxygen-rich water.