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stop open cage salmon and fish farms

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wild atlantic salmon are being pushed toward extinction due to sea lice form fish farms

Atlantic Salmon returns have crashed by up to 95% this year on the west coast of Britain.

 This is due to various factors at sea, for example over fishing by foreign factory ships on the north Irish coast waiting for returning fish coming back to spawn, exploitation of sand eel fishing for cattle fodder,(thus meaning feeding at sea is poor for all species of marine life let alone our precious smolts,) pollution and possibly the most aggressive opponent of the wild salmon is the sea lice exacerbated by the 454 open nets tame salmon farms along the West Scottish coast!!

These tame farms can attract hundreds of millions of sea lice for their incarcerated hosts and have a radial spread of up to 25 miles around each single farm. Sea lice can spawn as many as 11 times in a six month period producing 1000 eggs each time!

 Between 12 and 15 sea lice can kill a mature salmon if attached long enough, so let’s face it, a smolt has little or no chance of getting to the feeding grounds???

 Now imagine a tiny 4" smolt leaving its native river, say the Nith, turning right into the Irish sea, hugging the Scottish coast for safety and food, hoping to get as far as the outer Hebrides where it can turn left and head for the open sea to the Faros or Greenland where the main feeding grounds are.

 If that tiny fish picks up only 1 sea lice at each farm, and it is more likely to collect 20, it is DEAD before it gets half way up the Irish Sea!

 The Scottish Government wants to double production of these farms to export to China?

 I quote the Daily Mail on 22nd September 2012) The Gov't think it will bring a vast amount of income to Scotland, and create lots of jobs? IT WON’T!!!! Apart from the fact that most modern day salmon farms need only one person on a part-time basis as they are fully computer controlled, they are destroying the £50 million per year salmon fishing industry generated by tourists to Scotland, and thousands of tourism associated jobs along with it.

 These honest anglers are fleeing in their droves due to the poor returns of wild fish. B&B owners, hotels, restraunts pubs and tackle shops are closing due to the lack of income from visiting anglers, causing many, many more job losses than they are creating!

 Why is it that these 454 fish farms are allowed to deposit 500,000 tonnes of raw salmon sewage per year directly into the sea?( I refer to the Salmon and Trout Pollution Report which can be viewed on the Salmon and Trout association website!!!)

A land farmer would not be allowed to do so, and this would appear to have been sanctioned by the very authority that is supposed to prevent pollution? This detritus is full of anti-biotics, steroids, colourants and chemicals which help stem sea lice infestation within the tanks…..incidentally the sea lice are becoming immune to these chemicals!

 There has been a 110% increase in lice-icide in the past 4 years despite an increase in salmon production of only 22% which would indicate a massive increase in sea lice to fish production ratio!

 This lice-icide is highly toxic, but still within the food chain for human consumption??

These toxins are all in the flesh of the fish you eat, some of which are known carcinogens!

 Please read the following report??? 'Farmed salmon - a Dream turned Nightmare' by Dr. Roderick Sullivan.

 It takes up to 5 kilos of white fish to create 1 kilo of farmed can this be environmentally friendly or cost effective in the long run?

 Scotland alone throws £400 Million pounds of dead fish overboard because they are not species within the rediculous quotas system. Why not use this a fish food, or better yet change the quota system and let us eat it, we might not need farms at all then??

 There is, however, a compromise which can be reached!

 This is to close contain the tanks, either in the sea or on land. This does mean that the water has to be pumped and the waste disposed of, but surely this is better than the eradication of this special fish from our waters and the death of the tourism industry in Western Britain? It might put 5p on the price of a farmed salmon, but so what it pales into insignificance at the cost to our tourism industry.

 The Scottish Government MUST revoke new offshore netting licenses and they MUST re-instate the 3 mile inner fishing limit!

 The fishing quota system MUST be rectified as it is at present a total farce.

 On another key note, with regard to acidification of rivers, this is believed by many to be killing young salmonoids. The acid particulate from forestry works is allowed to leech into our rivers seemingly unregulated or even un-challenged! This MUST stop.

 Liming projects MUST be greatly enhanced to help neutralise this problem.

 I have just become a Grandfather for the first time and I look at this small child’s face and wonder if he will ever have the exhilarating opportunity to catch a wild Atlantic Salmon? I think NOT is the answer if we do not reverse this trend within the next 5 years, for then it will be too late.

 Please add your support for this most noble of fish by pledging your vote below.

Better still wite to your local Member of the European Parlaiment!!

 Thank you.

 Please log onto to cast your vote.

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