The ongoing saga of the fish farm

We did some underwater filming last week showing some salmon in very poor condition. Went back yesterday with the drone/s and did some footage of them pulling out netloads of dead salmon. Still didn’t get spotted.

Had a nerve wracking minute when the Mavic zoom disconnected right out over the water. Then the controller said “landing”! I killed the app and restarted it again and thankfully it re-connected and I managed to fly home. Phew. Don’t know why the disconnect but I’ve had it happen before. Anyway, the drone stuff is in the second video. Hope it’s OK, I’ve put both videos here for context.


Keep up the good work Andrew, have not touched farmed salmon since you first highlighted the inhumane conditions of these “hell hole” fish farms.


Not all Fishfarms are the same. The fish look very young (smolts). It’s what is happening under the nets you need to film!

I think the damage to the fish is a seal bite! However a number of the fish have massive ulcer like damage on their flanks/underside. The gills on some look diseased.

Seals will not generally be about when the fishermen are there. They may have a licence to shoot them.

Looks :cry:

Thanks Dave. The message is getting across, slowly but surely. The drone is an amazing tool!

I did put my ROV down last week, with the intention of trying to get right down to the bottom where the dead ones are. Trouble is, I went in towards the net, then backwards on the wrong side of an anchor rope! Almost lost the kit. Managed to get up to the surface, unplug it and pull the cable back round. Touch & go though!

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That footage is both horrific and heartbreaking.

I’m vegetarian these days, have been for years, but when I was a kid we lived near to a wild salmon station - two guys who would go out in their boat in the morning, string their net for a few hours in the bay and come back with (maybe) a dozen fish that were sold locally. If you lived in the village you could get a whole, fresh, wild salmon for £20 for a special occasion but you’d only ever try to get one or two a year. They were special, a real luxury.

I’ve never got used to seeing the fridges full of the anaemic salmon steaks they sell in the supermarket. Look what it’s doing to those fish :cry:


I’m not talking about the bottom of the net. I’m talking about the seabed. On the bottom of the net they have a ‘Dead basket’. You can see it in the second video attached to the inside of the net. The round net. That db sits at the bottom of the net and the morts fall into it and it’s lifted periodically and emptied. That’s what you see them doing

I looked on Navionics and that loch is covered in marine fish farms. Unbelievable.

What govt agency is responsible for fish farming in Scotland?

Keep up the good work


Those were the days Joe. There was something to appreciate. Now, it’s just cheap protein, trouble is, it’s not even healthy, very fatty and most people don’t realise the natural colour of farmed salmon is grey, they select what exact colour they want in the feed from a colour chart!


The benthic zone under the farms is completely dead. Here’s a still from some filming we did where a farm had just closed down. It’s like a lunar landscape, nothing living.

It’s very difficult to find a loch or bay here that doesn’t have a fish farm, there are over 200 on the West Coast of Scotland. Marine Scotland is responsible but they are completely overworked and have no resources. Also SEPA are in charge of environmental matters. During covid they have relaxed the regulations on quantities of chemical usage to help out the companies!

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Same goes for eggs, or at least it used to be. Back in the old punk band days everyone used to do dexys ( dextroamphetamine ) … We knew a guy who lived on a chicken farm and he got us some chicken dexys, they fed them to the chooks to make them lay more eggs and they had colouring in them for the yolks, used to turn our tongues bright yellow!



Have you seen the latest advert for Mowi salmon and Sainsbury’s?

Your footage has made me completely think twice about buying it.

Keep this thread live @ash2020.

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That’s pretty gross, the water in the nets looks unhealthy compared to open loch water. Also would salmon swim that slow normally. I used to think farmed salmon was good not now.
It good that actual evidence has been put forward to those concerned, so something can be done. That’s my twopence worth.

I haven’t, Steve. We don’t have a telly. I think Mowi are one of the worst. Even they admit it takes 2-3kg of wild fish to make the feed to produce 1kg of farmed salmon.

Scottish Sea Farms are having a go at us on Twitter because they say that filming their workers affects their mental health! I think it’s more likely that handling so many diseased fish and toxic chemicals affects their mental health!


Thanks David. They would normally swim hundreds, if not thousands of miles, not just stare out of the net. They jump to try to rid themselves of sea lice.


My answer to that would be;

“If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”

There are obviously trying to hide the fact that you have highlighted. They don’t even look up at the drone so they either don’t know it’s there or they don’t want to show there faces. So I don’t believe then when they say this.

This should be on mainstream TV news.

Question though Ash.

If the sea lions are causing this, why do they only have nibbles out of them? If that’s what they are? Surely the sea lion would be like a fox in a chicken coop.

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Exactly. Good point. I’m sure they have never been aware of the drone. Also, if a seal got into the net, as you say, it would be armageddon! We believe they are using it to have a moan about the fact they are no longer allowed to shoot seals. The reason being that the U.S. have said that they will not buy any salmon from companies that shoot seals.


I honestly will not be buying salmon unless it’s line caught and from someone who can prove this.

The state of those fish is completely disgusting.


Hope this is acceptable on this thread. Sign a petition (80,000 already signed) to demand M&S stop labelling farmed salmon as "responsibly sourced”.


Signed. . . . :+1:

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