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Competitions & Markets Authority: we call on you to fast-track an investigation into the Scottish salmon farming industry. 

Time to call an end to the greenwashing of Scottish farmed salmon.

The Scottish salmon farming industry has just had the green light from the UK government to change its protected name from ‘Scottish farmed salmon’ to simply ‘Scottish salmon’.

This is the latest in a series of cynical moves by the industry to greenwash its reputation in the eyes of consumers and erase the stark realities of a very damaging industry.

It’s time to fight back. 

Last October, WildFish and Coastal Communities Network submitted a detailed dossier to the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), calling for an investigation into the sustainability claims made by the industry’s trade body, Salmon Scotland. 

Six months on, this PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) name change highlights the urgency of an investigation into the realities of open-net salmon farming in Scotland – and a review of how farmed salmon from Scotland is marketed to consumers. 

Long-raised concerns about Scotland's intensive salmon farming practices include: 

  • The devastating impact of parasites and escaped fish on wild Atlantic salmon populations 
  • Huge levels of mortalities - 17.4 million farmed salmon died on Scottish farms in 2023
  • Pollution of the sea by toxic chemicals 
  • Unsustainable use of other fish species as parasite ‘cleaner fish’
  • Use of wild-caught fish to feed farmed salmon, often taken from the Global South
  • Use of antibiotics on Scottish salmon farms
  • Significant carbon footprint of Scottish salmon farming

Despite this, Salmon Scotland, and the companies it represents, continue to make claims around the industry’s alleged “sustainability”, while simultaneously seeking to distance Scottish farmed salmon from the way it is produced, via labels such as the PGI.

The CMA has shown real leadership on this issue in other sectors, such as fast fashion.  Let’s now call on them to extend that leadership to an industry that causes harm to the environment, fish welfare and the health of the planet.

It’s time to end the greenwash.