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March 13th 2019

The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) has called for tighter enforcement levels for sea lice.

Marine Scotland should "tighten its action level for the enforcement of measures against sea lice", according to the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO).

In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing MSP, the SSPO's Chief Executive Julie Hesketh-Laird urged the Scottish government to address the issue "as a priority".

Julie Hesketh-Laird writes:

"We would urge Marine Scotland to tighten its action level for the enforcement of measures against sea lice, to help keep momentum and results moving in the right direction.

"SSPO members are ready to move to both a lower action level for reporting lice levels on farms and a tighter enforcement level. Specifically, we recommend Marine Scotland reduces the enforcement trigger level from eight to six and the reporting threshold from three to two adult, female lice. To maintain the direction of travel, we recommend a further tightening of the enforcement trigger level to four from February 2020."

Ms Hesketh-Laird also explained that the industry‚Äźwide approach of pursuing prevention over cure has made significant strides and that it is "imperative" that all the current management options remain available to farmers.

The most recent data on sea lice show that levels during 2018/2019 have been some of the lowest since 2013.

To read the full letter click here.