Salmon deaths on Scotland’s fish farms double – but are jellyfish to blame?
Salmon deaths on fish farms in Scotland nearly doubled last year, official figures show, owing to growing levels of disease, parasites and jellyfish blooms. Campaigners have blamed overcrowding and called for a boycott.
Salmon farmers blamed the increase on unusually large numbers of micro-jellyfish that swarmed in British waters last year, a phenomenon that may be related to climate breakdown, but Abigail Penny, executive director of Animal Equality UK, said overcrowding in salmon farms was to blame.
"Deaths in fish pens have reached record levels for a number of reasons," she said, "including a sharp rise in infectious diseases among the fish who are packed into unnaturally overcrowded cages, as well as poor gill health and rough treatments to remove lice from the infested waters.
Whichever way, it's bad news for the global salmon industry: they are either ignoring ocean warming, or persisting with gross overcrowding.