Do farmed Scottish salmon spawn?

No, farmed Scottish salmon do not spawn. Scottish salmon raised for food production are humanely harvested before they reach sexual maturity or have the physical ability to breed and spawn.

Salmon raised as breeding stock are kept in controlled environments and not in the open marine environment.

Are Scottish salmon farmed in crowded conditions?

No, Scottish salmon are not crammed into seawater pens. In Scotland our salmon are stocked in line with the best scientific research with around just 1.5% fish to 98.5% seawater. This allows for plenty of space for every salmon swim while also allowing for natural shoaling behaviours to occur.

It's worth remembering that the structure you can see on the surface is just the very top of the pen. Salmon pens can be up to 120 metres in circumference and be as deep as 30 metres.

Can salmon get chlamydia?

In the scale of weird questions we get asked about Scottish salmon farming this has to be among the strangest.

On researching the origin of the question we discovered that the claim is being used by a small number of fringe activists who appear intent on spreading misinformation about our sector.

But, to the question itself - salmon, wild or farmed, can be infected by a chlamydia-like bacterial organism, Piscichlamydia. Veterinary research initially suggested that it may be a cause of gill cysts but that is now thought to be unlikely.

How are farmed Scottish salmon killed?

All fish farmed by Scotland's salmon producers are humanely slaughtered at the point of harvest.

This means that 100% of Scottish salmon are stunned, either percussively or electrically, to render them fully unconscious prior to bleeding.

This is a process carried out by dedicated trained staff, who have access to emergency stunners should they be required. It means that fish can taken from the water, stunned, slaughtered and placed onto ice for transport in a matter of seconds.

What is formalin?

What is formalin?

Formalin is a 37% aqueous (water) solution of formaldehyde and is an authorised medicine. Formaldehyde is the active ingredient that is used to treat some waterborne micro-organisms. Formaldehyde occurs naturally in the environment.

Why is it used?

Like all other livestock sectors, salmon farmers use licensed veterinary medicines and compounds (such as disinfectants) as part of their integrated approach to protecting the health and welfare of their fish.

Why is salmon pink?

The colour of a salmon’s flesh, whether wild or farmed, is determined by its diet. Ranging from orange to ivory-pink, flesh coloration is a result of the levels of organic pigments, known as carotenoids, present in what the fish has eaten.

There are more than 600 naturally occurring carotenoids; they are what make carrots and pumpkins orange, daffodils and sweetcorn yellow and what produces the spectacular colour changes in autumn leaves.

What is Deltamethrin?

What is it?

Deltamethrin is the active ingredient in a veterinary medicine, prescribed to treat sea lice. It is a synthetic pyrethroid which mimics natural chemicals produced in certain chrysanthemum flowers. In agriculture it is used in the control of ticks and is also one of the primary ingredients found in household ant powders.

Why is it used?

What are sea lice?

Sea lice are naturally occurring ectoparasitic copepods which can affect both wild and farmed fish populations. They are tiny, translucent fish parasites and do not affect humans. How planktonic stages of sea lice disperse and find new hosts is still not completely known but sea temperature, light, and currents are all major factors.

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