A recent BBC report highlights potential marine spatial planning issues ahead for farmed salmon. In recent comments, the Salmon and Trout Association states that a list of sites protected from fish farming development is needed to preserve wild stocks in Scotland.
A recent report prepared by the STO said a review of scientific research suggested parasites and pollution caused by excrement from farmed fish were killing wild salmon and sea trout. The body has called on the Scottish government to help with the list.
The Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO) said farming was not to blame for wild fish declines with Technical director Dr John Webster said global warming was mainly responsible for falling numbers.
Chief executive Paul Knight said the list of "ultra sensitive" sites where fish farms should not be built in the future was needed urgently.
This is clearly another issue that will fall within the remit of the recently passed Scottish Marine Act (2010) and could fall under the remit of a Scottish National Marine Plan or Reginal Marine Plan. Coastal regions will be planned in the next 2 to 3 years through stakeholder driven processes, but the actual means of devleoping plans has not been finalised. The issue of spacially allocated areas for salmon farming will no doubt be one of the many marine issues raised in the planning process. Work has already been in place for discussing and planning a common approach through the tripartite working groups established in 2002. Interstingly the Salmon and Trout Assoc. was not a member of this forum. A successor to the working groups is currently being planned.