Critics argue that the updated standards for fish farms proposed by the Soil Association continue to permit the use of chemicals such as deltamethrin and fail to address concerns that high mortality rates indicate an unsustainable industry.
More than 160 chefs and restaurants, along with 50 community groups, charities, and NGOs, have joined WildFish’s “Off the table” campaign to exclude farmed salmon from their menus, according to the Guardian.
Claire Mercer Nairne, the owner of supporting Perthshire restaurant The Meikleour Arms, said: “Many well-meaning restaurants serve farmed salmon because of reassuring organic certification. Organic for most people means better for the environment, but unfortunately in this instance that could not be further from the truth.”
Defending the certification
Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson for the Soil Association defended their certification process, emphasizing the strict rules farms must follow to minimize environmental impact and ensure animal welfare. They also stressed the association’s commitment to working with the sector to drive improvements.
Tavish Scott, CEO of Salmon Scotland, expressed support for the industry’s adherence to high standards and criticized activist groups for potentially endangering the global success of Scottish salmon.
“Scotland’s salmon farmers consistently meet the highest international standards and third-party assurance – including organic certification – will continue to play an important part in ensuring Scottish salmon remains the best in the world. We won’t let that global success be put at risk from a handful of urban-based activist groups,” said Scott, who went on to question the credentials of some of the groups involved with the letter.
“WildFish masquerades as a conservation organisation and is actually an angling pressure group that wants to make 12,500 hard working salmon farmers, who live in some of Scotland’s most remote communities, unemployed during a cost-of-living crisis.