Anti-salmon farming activist Don Staniford preparing to use a long pole and a Go-Pro camera to film salmon inside a pen at Scottish Sea Farms' Loch Spelve site, after staff had gone home.

Activist undertakes to stay away from Scottish Sea Farms' sites

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Anti-salmon farming campaigner Don Staniford has agreed to temporarily stay away from Scottish Sea Farms’ facilities.

SSF, which has applied to Oban Sheriff Court for an interdict against Staniford to prevent him covertly visiting marine sites and shore facilities, confirmed that he had given an undertaking to the court not to access SSF sites while court action is ongoing.

Scotland’s biggest salmon farmer, Mowi, was recently granted an interdict preventing Staniford from encroaching within 15 metres of its farms and buildings, and SSF is seeking a similar ban.

Staniford has said he will appeal against Mowi’s ban.

'Surveillance is vital'

Neither Staniford nor his lawyer, Jamie Whittle, commented on yesterday’s undertaking to the court, but Staniford sent Fish Farming Expert a copy of a response he made to an earlier demand made by SSF’s lawyers, Shepherd and Wedderburn, for the activist to stay away from the company’s facilities.

Don Staniford: Covert surveillance is vital.

In that response, Staniford said that in what he claimed was “the absence of government enforcement and intervention”, covert surveillance and citizen science were vital to expose greenwashing by salmon certification bodies.

He added that SSF and Mowi “cannot be allowed to privatise the public commons and threaten free speech”.

SSF argues that Staniford’s incursions on to fish farms are unlawful, and that his conduct poses a risk to the safety and well-being of the company’s staff. 

In the writ asking for an interdict, SSF and its lawyers write: “The Defender (Staniford) will not be interdicted from lawfully acting as an environmental activist. The terms of the interdict sought do not interfere with the responsible exercise of his right to peacefully and lawfully protest.”