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Wrasse expoitation: Fish Legal raises concern with Defra on behalf of Angling Trust

27.07.17

wrasse - credit Martin Salter

With wrasse stocks being plundered to be used as “cleaner fish” by the salmon farming industry, Fish Legal has written to Defra on behalf of the Angling Trust to express its concern at the absence of co-ordinated action to regulate wrasse exploitation.

Wrasse are currently caught in large numbers from waters around the UK and transported to Scotland to feed on the lice which infest farmed salmon.

The wrasse’s non-migratory and relatively static distribution in rocky reefs and coastlines makes it vulnerable to exploitation. The data on fish numbers is sketchy  and there has so far been no active intervention to protect the fish.

If we do not know enough about numbers, that in itself is reason enough to proceed on a precautionary basis to ensure that measures are taken – at least on an interim basis – to protect the fish until more is known.

Fish Legal has therefore asked for Defra to clarify whether it believes the current exploitation is sustainable  and what steps it intends to take to protect fish stocks

Contact: Fish Legal - Eastwood House | 6 Rainbow Street | Leominster | HR6 8DQ | Tel: 01568 620447

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