Section 34
Chapter 33,897

The potential application of strategic environmental assessment to the farming of Atlantic salmon in Mainland Scotland

Thompson, S.; Treweek, J.R.; Thurling, D.J.

Journal of Environmental Management 45(3): 219-229


ISSN/ISBN: 0301-4797
Accession: 033896587

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Scottish inshore sea lochs have traditionally provided undisturbed and unpolluted conditions for a variety of marine wildlife species, some of which are internationally important. Marine fish farming, particularly of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) has proliferated along the Scottish coast to the extent that all major sea loch systems are affected. The industry gives rise to a number of environmental impacts which potentially threaten the environmental quality of inshore sea lochs and jeopardize populations of characteristic wild species. In view of the wildlife importance of these areas, consent procedures should give full consideration to potentially damaging environmental effects and operational effects should be assessed thoroughly. It has been suggested that current policy and legislative mechanisms fail to regulate the environmental performance of the marine fish farming industry in any effective way. This paper reviews the current status of marine fish farming in the U.K., identifies the main environmental impacts and summarizes the relevant legislative mechanisms for limiting potentially adverse impacts on areas important for native marine wildlife. A framework for the strategic environmental assessment of the industry is proposed to overcome some of the shortcomings identified.

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