More Scottish salmon farms were rated 'excellent' or 'good' by SEPA in 2018. Photo: SSPO.

More Scottish sites rated 'excellent' by watchdog

Salmon farming in Scotland has achieved its best environmental performance, according to statistics collected for the Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) operated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

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Figures recently collated for 2018 and published today showed 87% of farms achieving “excellent” or “good” status, the highest percentage since SEPA started compiling results in this way in 2014.

The CAS is used by SEPA to monitor performance across a range of industries and sectors.

Julie Hesketh-Laird: Figures represent a "significant and ongoing effort" by fish farmers.

More rated as ‘excellent’

The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) said the results demonstrated the sector’s commitment to robust environmental standards. 

SEPA’s assessment of the performance of 296 farms in 2018 showed a 38% increase in the number of farms achieving an “excellent” rating and a 10% increase in the number of farms achieving “good” compared to 2017. 

The number of sites rated “poor” dropped by 32% to 38 farms.

Responsible performance

SSPO chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird said: “These statistics are very good news for Scottish salmon farming. They represent the significant and ongoing effort and investment to improve environmental performance and I’m delighted that this continued focus on environmental stewardship is delivering positive results.

“As a sector, we fully recognise that a strong environmental performance is key to successful salmon farming and we want to demonstrate publicly our commitment to responsible performance. These results are an excellent endorsement of that effort and success.

“Companies are keen to build on this positive trend.”