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I hope his shoes are waterproof

New year, same old story from the salmon farming industry. A super-sized onshore salmon farm has been approved in Grimsby without an Environmental Impact Assessment or consideration of animal welfare. We're urging intervention and exploring legal action.

New year, same old story from the salmon farming industry…

In November, despite local residents, fish experts, and Animal Equality loudly sounding the alarm, North East Lincolnshire Council gave the green light for start-up company AquaCultured Seafood Ltd to build a first-of-its-kind onshore salmon mega-farm in Grimsby… without even conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment.

This super-sized salmon factory will aim to ‘produce’ 5,000 tonnes of dead fish per year, equivalent to the lives of 1,000,000 based on a recent BBC story citing an average slaughter weight of 5.2kg. This is more than any fish farm on land or at sea in operation in the UK currently.

It’s estimated that the energy demands of the farm could power 3,200 houses and that the facility would produce as much sewage as 400,000 humans – a figure four and a half times the population of Grimsby!

Often, a key stage in many big planning applications is something called an ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ (EIA). This is an important information-gathering exercise, sometimes carried out at an early stage of a new development, to help a Local Authority understand the potential environmental risks and effects before deciding whether it should be built.

Despite this proposed fish factory’s unprecedented scale and potential impact, and the fact that it will be constructed within a protected conservation area, the Local Authority came to the conclusion that no EIA was required. This is a reckless decision that we cannot accept!

So we’re taking matters into our own hands. We instructed our lawyers to write to Michael Gove, who oversees the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, urging him to step in and put the brakes on this fish factory.

In our letter, we reminded the Government of its own guidelines. Although an EIA wasn’t mandatory for this fish farm – which is shocking in itself! – the proposed farm’s production levels will be a STAGGERING 50 times over the threshold for which the Government recommends conducting an EIA.

Councillors REALLY need to take this issue seriously. When submitting proposals like this, businesses have a habit of making lots of promises and providing reassurances, but the facts speak for themselves: onshore farms much like this one can experience a whole host of serious problems.

See for yourself!

In December last year, alongside fish activist Don Staniford, we released grim footage shared by a whistleblower working in an on-land fish hatchery operated by Mowi, the UK’s largest salmon producer.

In this revolting video, the farm worker reveals a floor thick with fish faeces that had flowed out of a tank. The worker walks around showing the disgusting extent of the waste, with brown sludge all around, covering the floor and equipment.

It’s sickening to think that a similar fish farm is set to come south to England on a scale never seen before.

My team and I are considering all of our options – including legal action – and we will leave no stone unturned.

Up and down the UK we will continue to intervene where we see hope of slowing or stopping this stomach-churning industry.

But we still need your help.

I am sure after seeing this unappetising footage it doesn’t require much convincing but the best way to help fish is to remove them from your plate.

Nowadays you can enjoy delicious plant-based alternatives without the cruelty and environmental destruction.

With everything from fishless fingers to plant-based ‘tuna’ and even smoked ‘salmon’ – there really is no need to consume fish products! And if you fancy getting creative in the kitchen rumour has it that there’s an exciting new sea-inspired recipe waiting for you…

With gratitude,

Abigail Penny

P.S  Up and down the UK we will continue to intervene where we see hope of slowing or stopping this stomach-churning industry. Can we count on your support to fuel our life-saving work? Help us protect fish: set up a monthly donation today!

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