Campaigners call for urgent investigation of all Scottish salmon farms to prevent “summer surge of deaths”

July 18, 2019

On Monday, 22 July, campaigners will deliver a 40,000-signature petition to the Scottish government calling for emergency inspections of all commercial salmon farming operations.

The petition, by consumer watchdog SumOfUs, cites evidence of serious welfare abuses at some of Scotland’s salmon farms. Campaigners are demanding urgent action because sea temperatures rise over summer months, further increasing the likelihood of disease among salmon populations.

Secret footage of caged salmon near Loch Shieldaig, captured last month by salmon welfare campaigner Don Staniford, forced Marine Scotland to carry out an emergency inspection.

“For years, we’ve known that Scottish salmon cultivation is as horrific as battery farming. Recent footage of the terrible conditions on salmon farms shows that the problem is only getting worse,” said Anna Liberadzki, Campaigner at SumOfUs

“As long as the megacorporations who own Scotland’s salmon farms can get away with it, they will allow the fish to suffer, while raking in huge profits for a so-called ‘sustainable’ product. Marine Scotland must step in. The alternative is a summer surge of salmon deaths and disease,” Anna Liberadzki said.

Don Staniford, Director of Scottish Salmon Watch, said: “Salmon farming is a welfare nightmare. We know from the Scottish government’s own surveillance that Scotland’s salmon farms are riddled with infectious diseases, pathogens and viruses. Unannounced inspections of salmon farms are urgently needed to prevent further mass mortalities and welfare abuse.” 

In October 2018, in a response to a parliamentary question, Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, revealed that there had been only two unannounced site inspections of fish farms "in the last year". The Fish Health Inspectorate has a statutory requirement to carry out “unannounced site inspections”.

A flotilla protest against welfare abuses on Scottish salmon farms, organised by Scottish Salmon Watch, will take place on 1 September at various locations on the west coast of Scotland.


  1. A photo opportunity outside the Scottish Parliament will take place at 11am on Monday 22 July. 
  2. The petition will be delivered to Marine Scotland at 1pm on Monday 22 July.
  3. View the petition: