Analysis of fish farm escape numbers in Scotland has revealed the Western Isles are one of the worst areas for escaped farmed salmon.
Following from a large escape (154,569 farmed salmon) in Shetland recently, campaign group Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture has ‘number-crunched’ official Scottish Government statistics.
And the group have discovered that, on average, there have been 11 escape incidents and 201,000 escapee farmed salmon per year since records began in 1998.
2011, 2005 and 2000 are the worst years on record.
A total of 428,000 farmed salmon escaping during 22 incidents in 2000; 877,883 farmed salmon escaping in 19 incidents in 2005, and 404,451 farmed salmon escaping during 10 incidents in 2011.
Regional analysis of numbers reveals that Shetland and the Western Isles are the worst offending areas – being responsible for 72 per cent of all escapees since 2012 with a total of 877,388 escapees (34% of all escapees) via 36 incidents (27% of all incidents) in the Western Isles and 992,863 escapees (38%) via 24 incidents (18%) in Shetland.
Numbers also show that the Western Isles region is responsible for seven of the top 20 escapes in Scotland since 2002; with five in Shetland, three in Highland, three in Orkney and two in Argyll.