- Salmon is Scotland’s number one food export product and there are hopes to increase production and expand the industry further.
- However, Scottish salmon farmers are using record quantities of pesticides to counter parasite resistance. A 110% increase in the amount of pesticide used has only resulted in a 22% increase in productivity due to pesticide-resistant ‘superlice’.
- Additionally the chemicals used are highly toxic to marine crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs and shrimp.
- Conversely it is argued that the chemicals are necessary and their impact is relatively localised and short-lived.
Increased use of pesticides and the resulting pesticide resistance is a growing problem in a range of industries, particularly in marine environments where the pesticides applied can drift, and the approach of upping application levels only exacerbates the problem. We may be facing a future with a range of pests that can no longer be managed by traditional chemical means.