Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Waste from fish cages can have a negative impact on the environment. It can:
Your discharge consent or authorisation will limit the number of fish held in cages to help minimise the impacts of fish waste.
If you use chemical treatments in cages, you must comply with any limits on chemical use included in your discharge consent or authorisation.
Place your cages in an area with good tidal flushing and water exchange so that waste is quickly diluted and dispersed.
Use fallow periods to allow the seabed to recover and help reduce sea lice populations. You can maximise environmental benefit by co-ordinating fallow periods at all fish farms that are close to one another.
New methods of dealing with fish lice are being developed. You could investigate the use of heat treatment or the use of cleaner fish.
Minimise the use of chemicals on your fish farm in order to reduce their impact on the environment. For example, you may be able to reduce the frequency of chemical application for sea lice treatment if all farms in an area treat their fish within a short timescale.
In Scotland, voluntary Area Management Agreements between farms have been used to co-ordinate sea lice treatments and stocking. This has maximised the effectiveness of the treatments and therefore reduced overall use of chemicals.
You should take care to ensure that oil or fuel used for boats is not spilt onto land or into watercourses.
When you harvest fish, avoid spilling dead fish or blood into the sea. Collect and remove all blood and fish waste. Take care not to spill any ice or water slurry into the sea.
Frequently monitor cages for dead fish and remove them from the water as soon as possible.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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