9th January 2007




The Salmon Farm Protest Group (SFPG) can now reveal the names of the fish farmers who allowed more than 1 million farmed salmon to escape or die in their cages during 2005.


Following the landmark decision by the Scottish Freedom of Information Commissioner (Decision 182/2006) that forced the Scottish Executive’s Fisheries Research Services (FRS) to disclose the name of a fish farmer involved in an escape incident in 2006, the SFPG asked the FRS for the names of fish farmers involved in all escapes and fish deaths during 2005.


Top of the list is Norwegian-owned Stolt Sea Farms Ltd who lost 321,000 farmed salmon during the year.127,000 escaped from sea cages at Eilean Dubh in North Uist, whilst 194,000 salmon smolts escaped from their Loch an Eilean Liath site to the south of Stornoway.


Next is North Uist Fisheries Ltd who lost 169,000 fish, including 151,821 smolts from Loch Scadavay, North Uist, when the cages broke up due to severe weather conditions.


Marine Harvest Scotland Ltd come third with a total of 153,874 escaped fish from sites at Loch Seaforth, Gousam, Bay of Vady and Hole Bay. In 2005 Marine Harvest was owned by Dutch multi-national Nutreco. It has since been taken over by Norwegian-owned Pan Fish.


Pan Fish Ltd lost 120,000 fish from their Strome site in Loch Carron. The FRS report, “Cage walkways sank and took the net below waterline allowing the fish to escape during galeforce conditions. Following the initial cage failure, the cage failed again and more fish escaped.”


Another Norwegian-owned company, Fjord Seafood Scotland Ltd lost 101,013 salmon from two sites at Linngeam and Greinham Island, whilst 65,000 salmon smolts died in the cages during a storm in South Uist at Loch Moreef, owned by South Side Salmon.


Other losses occurred at sites owned by Scottish Sea Farms (43,453), Murray Seafoods Ltd (22,500). Landcatch Ltd (3,608) and Loch Duart Ltd (3,000).


SFPG chairman Bruce Sandison said, “Farm salmon escapes seriously damage the genetic integrity of our wild fish stocks. Now, for the first time, fish farmers who allow their salmon to escape will have no place to hide. They will be named and shamed. The public will also be able judge for themselves the true value of the Scottish Salmon Producers (SSPO) voluntary ‘Code of Good Practice’ and what, if anything, the SSPO or the Scottish Executive will do make these fish farmers clean up their act.”


For more information about the work of the SFPG see


Hysbackie, Tongue, by Lairg, Sutherland IV27 4XJ, Scotland

 Tel: 01847 611274; Fax: 01847 611262; email:

A company registered in Scotland, No.240223




Farmed salmon escapes from sea cages and mortalities

of farmed salmon smolts in freshwater cages in 2005

Stolt Sea Farms Ltd                                    321,000

North Uist Fisheries Ltd                             169,435

Marine Harvest Scotland Ltd                      153,874

Pan Fish Scotland Ltd                                 120,000

Fjord Seafood Scotland Farming Ltd         101,013

South Side Salmon                                        65,000

Scottish Sea Farms Ltd                                 43,453

Murray Seafoods Ltd                                     22,500

Landcatch Ltd                                                  3,608

Loch Duart Ltd                                                3,000


TOTAL                                                     1,002,883


Worst farm salmon escape from sea cages:

Stolt Sea Farms site at Eilean Dubh on the east side of the Island of North Uist.

127,000 farm salmon escaped when the site broke up and ran aground,

allowing the fish to escape.


Worst farm salmon smolt escape from freshwater cages: 

Stolt Sea Farms Ltd site at Loch an Eilean Liath, south of Stornoway on the Island of Lewis.

194,000 smolts escaped when the site broke up due to sever weather conditions


Worst mortality in fish farm cages:

South Side Salmon site at Loch Moreef in South Glendale on the Island of South Uist.

65,000 salmon smolts killed when hurricane force winds destroyed cages